There are a number of benefits of exercise while fighting cancer. Doctors have thus far recommended that their cancer patients rest and take it easy as much as possible during treatment. However, new studies suggest the exact opposite. There are many benefits that can be had by forcing yourself to remain active during this trying and physically draining time.
The biggest and most immediate benefit of exercise during cancer treatment is that you will get back some of the energy that you have lost due to the treatments. Radiation therapy takes a lot out of you, and will induce extreme fatigue, which can also lead to severe depression. Exercising helps bring back some of that lost energy, and also gives your body and mind a boost. It can help you fight both fatigue and depression.
Another benefit of exercise during cancer treatment is that it decreases your risk of heart and bone conditions. Since both of these types of disorders are common in people undergoing radiation therapy, this is a huge benefit that should not be ignored. Anything that can lower your risk factors for such health conditions should be followed through.
Of course, how much you can exercise will depend on many factors. You will only want to do as much as you feel comfortable with. If you do too much you could weaken your body instead of strengthen it, making radiation therapy even more detrimental to your overall health. It is important to start out light, and to have only short periods of physical activity. Even ten minutes of exercising per day can help you fight against the effects of cancer treatment.
There are many different types of exercise you can do that are low impact activities. Even gardening is exercise that would benefit you greatly. Taking walks for a short distance can also be beneficial. Of course, you can also have a more structured exercise program of low impact aerobics or other activities. However, most cancer patients find that simple forms of exercising like gardening or walking are easier to do and more enjoyable. Performing these activities can bring balance to an otherwise unbalanced situation. It can improve mood and decrease fatigue. All of the benefits are well worth the effort if you feel you can put it forward.