Complement Cancer & Chemo Treatment with Exercise: My 3C Law

images (7)Exercise can be beneficial in many treatments. The statement holds ground especially in the case of cancer treatment. We know that cancer can make a person physically and mentally very weak. However, if you exercise during cancer your chances of fighting the disease increases.

Exercise? Are You Sure?

Believe me when I talk about exercise, that too during the tenure a person is undergoing treatment for a condition like cancer, many people think something is wrong or they havent heard correctly. Normally perception and mentality is to associate a person undergoing even a minor fever medication to just rest completely, so anyone undergoing a major procedure and exercise, the question that they shoot is – are you sure, perhaps they mean – are you out of your mind !!

Of course we recently saw how to lead a healthy lifestyle after treatment but this article focuses specifically on the role of exercise not only post treatment but also during the process.

Complement Cancer & Chemo – My 3C Law

When the word chemotherapy was uttered for me, I was suddenly reminded of a story that I had read long back in Reader’s Digest about a person jogging to and back from the hospital after his chemotherapy sessions. I remember the details vividly, having left completely debilitated after his first session due to the side effects of the chemotherapy drugs the man decided to take things in his own hands. For rest of his sessions he went jogging to the hospital and jogged back from the hospital. Hardly did I know that I would use the vivid details of the story to inspire myself.

From my personal experience I can say that the fatigue that one feels during treatment is very different from what one feels as a healthy person. It is a combination of nausea, anemia and even fluctuations in hormones. It is a vicious cycle of symptoms and feeling unwell. Exercise helps you break this vicious cycle. It keeps you away from minor ailments and keeps you strong and remember the stronger you are the better is your treatment.

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Cancer Patient Exercising
Cancer Patient Exercising

Though it was not rigorous exercise that I opted for but it included some basic stretching, breathing exercises and  around 15 minutes on a Dual-Action Stationary Exercise Bike. Physically it helped me deal with the aches and cramps, nausea and kept me upbeat and motivated. Through out the day I reminded myself that I  could exercise in the morning so I am fit. Let us start by discussing some benefits of exercise.

Benefits of Exercise

  1. It can improve activity of the body as a result you tend to forget the discomforts that the cancer treatment gives you.
  2. It can improve the ability of the body to fight the cancer cells as a result the cancer cells stop spreading.
  3. Exercise can help the mind stay active and healthy which is very much required for a speedy recovery.
  4. Exercise can ensure that you are moving around and this ultimately increases the ability of the body to fight other minor diseases and complications that can be associated with the disease.
  5. Cancer treatment reduces appetite. You can ensure that your appetite do not suffer during cancer treatment as exercise can increase your appetite to some extent.
  6. Cancer medication can cause depression and loneliness. This can be reduced to a great extent by regular exercise. This regular exercise can also increase you sleep and make you feel more relaxed.

Cautions: Just Be Watchful

There are many benefits of exercise during treatment of cancer. However, you must remember the following points while you exercise during cancer. These are mentioned below.

  1. Consult the doctors before you start with a exercise regimen.
  2. Exercise only as much as you can, the objective is not to get exhausted.
  3. Exercise with someone for in case need be you have immediate help available.
  4. If possible get an expert to advise you the exercises that you need to do, otherwise resort to some basic stretching.
  5. Ensure that you exercising on daily basis. Ensure that the time of doing the exercises also remains the same.
  6. Increase the duration of exercise gradually over a period of time.
  7. Cancer treatment can make you weak. This is exactly why you must see to it that you exercise soon after you have got up from a long sleep. This will ensure that your body exercises better. This will also increase the effectiveness of the exercise.
  8. If you are a physically active person you may feel depressed to see how the cancer treatment has affected your health. However, you must fight back these depressions and ensure that you keep trying so that you can recover faster. Will power is very useful in cancer treatment.
  9. You may find it very exhausting to do the exercises. Nevertheless, you must continue to practice these exercises. This will ensure that you live a much healthy and a happy life. You must continue the exercises even after the treatment is over and you are back to a normal life. This will ensure that you do not get the disease again. This will also help you to fight other health problems.

Tips For Everyone

These are some points that you must know if you are planning to get the benefits of exercise during treatment of cancer. We will now discuss the exercises that you can do while you are under cancer treatment.

  1. Brisk walk is a very good idea in cancer treatment. This is because it will make you feel healthy and is also least demanding form of exercise.  You can walk for a few minutes rest and then resume again. It will be better if you can walk in a park or in a place where you get a lot of fresh air.
  2. Jogging can be suggested depending on your health. Maybe you can do it a little later as you tend to show improvement in the treatment. This too must be done keeping the precaution points in mind that we have mentioned above.
  3. Yoga, Taichi and meditation is also advised as exercises in cancer treatment.
  4. Light aerobics can be a good idea if you are fit enough for it.
  5. Many doctors suggest swimming too. This again if you already know how to swim. This can be very effective and you can benefit a lot for the same. It is also like a good way to unwind and relax.
  6. You can take to sports like tennis, badminton, table tennis, etc. These ensure that you are exercising along with a good source of entertainment. We suggest that the doctor’s permission is vital. Apart from that you need a partner you can reduce the pace of the game and make you feel comfortable. These can also ensure that you get a break from the negative and depressing thoughts that cancer may bring to you.

We have tried to touch almost all the aspects of benefits of exercise during treatment of cancer. We hope that you will find this article informative and interesting. Do remember that play can make life interesting and also fun just that you must keep the small points in mind.

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  • meetunayyar
  • A lawyer by profession, social worker and a fighter against cancer