Tuesday 17 June 2014

5 Tips to Keep Cancer Patients Active

Motivation to exercise is important when you can't exercise or feel too tired to exercise

Can't Exercise? Too Tired to Exercise?

The evidence supporting exercise for cancer patients is undeniable. However, sometimes we feel we can't exercise or are too tired to exercise. Although we know we need to be physically active, it is often very difficult to stick to it.

How to Stay Motivated to Exercise

As a physiotherapist and cancer survivor myself, I can certainly appreciate both sides. On those days when my "get up and go" has "got up and left", I put on my physiotherapy hat and recall some of the tips I have learned over the years that help me stay motivated and physically active. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Exercise with a friend. If I have someone waiting to meet me at the gym I am far more likely to go, and my friend usually appreciates me encouraging them to be there too.
  • Vary your exercise routine to avoid boredom. I like to try something different each day of the week, but also change it up with the seasons.
  • Exercise outdoors whenever you can. It just feels healthier to me to be breathing fresh air and enjoying the scenery, regardless of whether it is 20 below or 20 above.
  • Record your exercise achievements, so that you can track your progress. There are some cool apps for tracking walking and running progress now, that make this easy and fun.
  • Identify barriers to exercise and work to overcome them. One example of this is using urban walking poles to give you confidence to walk further or on uneven terrain when your balance might be slightly impaired.

How Physiotherapists Can Help

Physiotherapists are trained to help individuals with a variety of disabilities overcome their barriers to being physically active. Physiotherapists have heard every excuse in the book as to why someone cannot exercise. In most cases, modifications can be made to create a safe and effective exercise program for just about anyone. It may definitely be worthwhile to consult a physiotherapist during or after your cancer treatment to develop a physical activity plan with achievable goals.

To find out more about Cancer Rehab Canada please see our website.

Please contact one of our 62 Cancer Rehab locations across Canada. Links will direct to a Cancer Rehab provider in your area.

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