Health (things to know)

Guest Post: Fun Exercises and Social Engagement Help Cancer Patients

Good morning everyone!

Today’s post is a first on Toriteachesfitness: a guest post!

The topic is about fitness and battling cancer: two colliding worlds of trying to maintain health while being in an inherent state of disease. In medical school, we’re always taught to “Find the health.” It’s very appropriate in this case because there are always ways to make healthy choices for ourselves even when we’re not well.

Melanie Bowen is one of my readers who has taken a special interest in natural health options to supplement traditional cancer treatments. She is a Master’s student and an Awareness Advocate for the Mesothelioma Cancer Cancer Alliance. After losing her grandmother to cancer, Melanie grew interested in learning about various lifestyle factors that could contribute to causes of cancer and it’s progression. She is an avid Yogi and loves spending time with her cat (and I can definitely relate to those things!).

Fun Exercises and Social Engagement Help Cancer Patients

Having fun and exercising may seem out of reach for a person who is fighting cancer.  Exercising often requires physical energy and motivation for a person to be able to successfully complete a workout routine.  People who are going through cancer treatments are prone to feel fatigued and sore, and this can lead to a reduced desire to get out and be active consistently.  While exercising may seem like a difficult task, it is often exactly what is needed for a cancer patient to successfully and positively push through their treatment.

Make Exercise a Social Engagement

Making exercise a social engagement can help cancer patients find joy and motivation to workout.  Many people who are fighting cancer often experience bouts of depression and loneliness.  These are common issues for many types of cancer patients, from breast cancer to mesothelioma, and exercise is one thing that can help combat those emotions. Endorphins, released during physical exertion, have been proven to boost the mood and increase relaxation. Therefore, exercise, no matter how difficult it may seem, will provide many benefits especially for those battling cancer.

Socialization gives people who are fighting a chronic illness a chance to relieve stress and tension.  This can be a huge benefit when it comes to regaining mental and physical strength.  The body will be better prepared to fight the disease if the person feels strong enough to meet the challenge.  Exercising with friends or family members through moderate and enjoyable types of activities is an ideal way to have fun and to increase a person’s odds for beating the disease at a quicker pace.

Common cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery leave patients feeling physically weakened and emotionally weak as well.  Getting out of the house and going for a walk with friends or joining a neighborhood walking club is a great way to take a person’s mind off of the demands and rigors of cancer treatments.

The Benefits of Exercise on Chronically-ill People

According to the American Cancer Society, exercise can be beneficial to many, if not all, chronically ill individuals.  Among the benefits listed on the site are stronger bones, better blood flow throughout the body and improved self-esteem. No matter what kinds of exercise you choose to work into your routine, consult with your doctor and start reaping the benefits today!


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