Learning you, a family member or a friend has cancer is a scary time in anyone’s life – especially for those with the diagnosis. Often times, those battling cancer want to maintain as much normalcy as possible and one way you can do that is by staying active.
One of the best ways to gain strength, fight fatigue and maximize your long-term health is to exercise. Research has shown that regular exercise and conditioning has helped those currently going through or who have received chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment.
Programs like the Cancer Rehabilitation program at Florida Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation offers therapy and medical fitness to assist patients going through chemotherapy or radiation treatment. “Specially trained therapists personalize exercise programs tailored to meet your needs, taking into consideration your prior fitness level, type of cancer and type of cancer treatment you have received or are currently receiving,” says Laura Podschun, physical therapist at Florida Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Starting any new fitness program can be nerve-racking and those with cancer might feel even more worried that they will further harm themselves or not be able to perform. Below are facts and questions to help ease your concerns.
1. I am so tired. I don’t think I can exercise.
Cancer-related fatigue has been shown to lessen by 40 to 50 percent in patients who exercise than those who do not.
2. I have experienced loss of muscle mass. How will I have the strength to exercise?
Exercise has been shown to not only protect skeletal muscle but to also preserve muscular strength during ongoing treatments.
3. Will exercise affect my blood values (red and white blood cells)?
Exercise has been shown to help stabilize your blood values and help prevent decline.
4. I am suffering from balance issues. How can exercise help?
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a roundtable on exercise guidelines for cancer survivors, exercise has been shown to improve balance and decrease the risk of falls.
5. I am stressed and have anxiety and depression since being diagnosed with cancer.
Strength training not only helps reduce stress but also has been proven to decrease anxiety during treatment and improves your overall quality of life.
You shouldn’t have to battle your cancer diagnosis alone. Friends, family, and programs like the Cancer Rehabilitation program at Florida Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation can help encourage you, reduce stress, fight fatigue and keep you fit.
Get more information about our Cancer Rehabilitation.