Everyone knows that exercise is vitally important for both physical and mental health, but when you are fighting a serious illness like cancer, it is far too easy to allow fitness to fall by the wayside. Those who develop respiratory cancers like mesothelioma may be even more cautious about involving themselves in any kind of cardiovascular activity, fearing that it will magnify their symptoms, but studies show this is a misconception. In fact, staying physically fit is one of the best ways to reduce the severity of many cancer symptoms.
The most important reason for those touched by cancer to start or maintain a physically active lifestyle is that it greatly improves your quality of life. Whether you have been newly diagnosed, have been battling cancer for awhile or are currently in remission, there are great benefits you can reap from fitness. A good exercise plan can act as a sort of rehab for cancer patients, enabling them to build physical strength, increase stamina and lessen the chronic fatigue that often plagues those affected by cancer.
To access the benefits of physical fitness, it is important that cancer patients realize that they do not have to push themselves too hard. Even gentle exercise programs, such as walking, yoga, tai chi and swimming provide great health benefits and will help to increase your energy levels as your body fights to get and stay healthy. Staying in shape also provides a natural boost to the immune system, so when used in conjunction with conventional medicine, fitness programs can assist greatly in fighting off infections or other physical problems.
Working out can also have emotional or mental benefits for cancer patients of all kinds. For one thing, exercise has been proven to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Getting fit can greatly improve body image, particularly for those patients who have gone through surgery or put on weight due to their medical treatment. This is especially true for breast cancer sufferers who have had to endure mastectomies, since that kind of surgery often affects a woman’s body image and has been linked to weight gain in various studies.
Overall, starting a fitness program is a great idea for anyone, but may be even more important for those battling tough illnesses like cancer. However, before you choose an exercise plan it is very important that you consult your physician to see what kind of program would be most beneficial to you. By working together, you and your medical team can create a customized plan that is tailored precisely to you and your physical needs.