Monday 29 July 2013

10 Things You Should Know About Cancer Exercise

Exercise is an important part of cancer rehabilitation

Exercise and Cancer Rehabilitation

Since exercise is one of the most effective methods of treating cancer and helping cancer survivors on their road to recovery, we wanted to share these important tips about cancer exercise.
  1. Exercise is strongly recommended both during and after cancer treatments, and it is safe when you follow some safety guidelines.
  2. Before starting an exercise program you should be screened for any physical limitations by a rehab professional such as a physiotherapist. Many problems such as restricted shoulder mobility, high blood pressure, or weakened postural muscles should be addressed before beginning any general exercise program.
  3. It is important to monitor your heart rate throughout your workout. The general rule of thumb is that you want to keep your heart rate between 50% and 75% of your maximum heart rate.
  4. Exercises should be modified to suit the individual. Anyone with bony metastases, for example, needs to minimize pressure on their bones and should be shown safe body positioning.
  5. Do not exercise if you have a fever over 38°C or if your blood values contraindicate exercise. Please check with your doctor if you are unsure.
  6. Be sure to take deep breaths, in and out, as you do each exercise. This helps with chest expansion and acts as a pumping action to improve circulation.
  7. Exercise has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of lymphedema.
  8. The research indicates that the best treatment for reducing cancer related fatigue is exercise, but when you are exhausted exercise is often difficult to do. You should start slowly, follow a regular routine that includes gradual increase and you will begin to notice a difference in a few weeks.
  9. Moderate exercise will improve your quality of life. You will notice that your mood improves after exercising and so does your self esteem. You begin to feel stronger mentally and physically.
  10. Most importantly, there is growing evidence indicating that increased physical activity will improve your chances of survival. To date, this evidence is strongest for breast and colorectal cancer patients and the recommended minimum is 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 6 days per week.

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