The Great Benefit of Fitness While Going Through Cancer

Posted by Nathan Jackson on

Hello everyone!  I’d like to introduce my first guest writer.  His name is David Haas and shares a passion with me for helping people in health and fitness.  He was gracious enough to write an article on cancer and the benefits of fitness .  Enjoy!    Nathan

For many people, finding out you have cancer can be a major shock. Often, you may want to sit and do nothing and may
even feel depressed. However, physical fitness and activity can be one of the most beneficial ways of coping
with a cancer diagnosis. While physical fitness is not a cure for cancer, it can improve your quality of life and
improve your overall mood, whether you are in the midst of treatment or in remission.

Cancer and Physical Activity

According to the National Cancer Institute, physical activity can have a strong influence on survival rates and
the quality of life for cancer patients. In a recent study published by the National Cancer Institute, it was shown
that women with breast cancer who participated in physical fitness activities experienced reduced levels of fatigue,
improved quality of life and improved levels of energy. It was found that women with a diagnosis of breast cancer who
engaged in moderate walking for three to five hours per week had better survival rates than women who were
sedentary and did not have any physical fitness regime.

In addition to improvement in things like stamina and energy levels, physical fitness can also influence
moods. Being physically active can stimulate healthy neurochemicals that boost mood. Also, if you are active,
you may feel better about yourself in general and experience improved self-confidence. This can be
particularly true if you are able to engage with others more easily and feel that you look better the more active
you are overall.

Recommended Activities

While you may not be ready to go out and run a marathon,
you can be physically active in some way. Even with
aggressive cancers such as mesothelioma and pancreatic
cancer, you can do simple things like yoga stretching. One
type of recommended stretching is Nia, which is a
combination of yoga and Pilates movements, combined with
periods of meditation and contemplation. If you have more
energy and more mobility, try moderate walking, bicycle
riding or swimming. These activities will improve heart
health and lung capacity.

Even if you have finished your cancer treatments, continue
moderate physical activity and exercise. Repeated studies
have shown that continued exercise can help delay or
prevent cancer from returning.

Diet and Exercise

In addition to adding healthy activities to your lifestyle,
you should also consider meeting with a nutritionist to
find out if there are ways to improve your diet. Although
many cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation,
can result in loss of appetite and weight loss, when you
are not undergoing those treatments, you need to maintain a
healthy diet. Focus on nutrient-rich foods, such as
healthy and lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and foods
that are high in fiber.  [For more detailed nutrition information during cancer please visit  (Nathan W. Jackson)]

Even if you are fighting an aggressive form of cancer such
as pancreatic cancer or mesothelioma, you can benefit from
healthy physical activity and an improved diet. Focus on
what you can do, not on what you cannot do and you will
find your confidence improving and your mood improving.

[Thank you David and thanks everyone for reading!]

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