Regular exercise not only helps in toning your muscles and shaping your body but it can also prevent a myriad number of diseases. A sedentary lifestyle leads to cardiac problems, diabetes, hypertension, and some types of cancers. Although all these aforementioned diseases are life-threatening, yet cancer is the worst of them all. Obese people are likely to develop esophagus, lung, colon, head, kidney, neck, rectum, bladder, and breast, as well as two cancers of the blood (myeloma and myeloid leukemia).
These conditions are usually developed because of the increased levels of some hormones and exercise on the other hand helps in regulating these cancerous hormones. Physical activity helps in speeding up your digestion, which may reduce the time that potentially harmful substances are in the colon. Also, many studies have evidently proved that regular exercise is very productive in the treatment of cancer. This is why doctors recommend moving is better than resting when you are dealing with some type of cancer. Read on to learn more about how does exercise helps people before, during, and after cancer treatment.
The relationship between physical activity and cancer risk:
The evidence keeps rolling in that sedentary behavior—sitting, reclining, or lying down for extended periods of time (other than sleeping)—is a risk factor for developing certain cancers and premature death. There are 13 types of cancers that have close relation with obesity including meningioma, multiple myeloma, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, and cancers of the thyroid, postmenopausal breast, gallbladder, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, ovaries, uterus, colon, and rectum.
Exercise can not only prevent these cancers up to some level but helps in curing this chronic disease if you are already suffering from any of these cancers. People who are not dealing with any type of cancer can do strenuous workouts of their choice but those who have some symptoms of cancer must recommend his doctor about exercise.
What to do before jumping into an exercise routine during cancer treatment?
Although, starting or maintaining an exercise routine can empower you to fight against this fatal diseases, yet it’s highly recommended to with your doctor before you start an exercise program during or after cancer treatment. This is because your doctor will guide you about the exercise you should choose depending on your ability to exercise. The exercise choice will depend upon, the type of cancer you have, the treatments being used, your level of fitness, the side effects you are dealing with, and other health issues you are facing.
Cancer surely weakens your body and you will not be able to follow the same exercise routine as before. And when you have gone through the treatment, your body will take time to gain pre-cancer strength. You can go to a qualified cancer exercise specialist who can design the best exercise program for your unique situation.
In terms of cancer prevention, the recommended general physical activity guidelines are similar to those recommended for everyone: 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity every week. And for those who are battling this devastating diseases, researchers recommend that they should do 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity 3 times a week and strength training such as weights 2 to 3 times a week. This recommendation works universally.
Some exercise that proved beneficial during cancer treatment:
It is commonly seen that cancer patients have shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. This problem holds them from doing physical activities, so breathing exercises help in comfortably inhaling and exhaling air from your lungs which can improve your endurance. Furthermore, breathing exercises can also destress your tightened muscles.
Regular stretching is a great way to improve your flexibility and posture. It enhances the flow of blood and oxygen to all the muscles of your body besides helping your body repair itself. Stretching can help especially in post-radiation treatment therapy because it can limit your range of motion and cause your muscles to stiffen. Also, stretching can break down scar tissue after going through a surgery.
People suffering from cancer often experience loss of balance. Balance exercise can help in dealing with this side effect of cancer and regaining the function and mobility you need to return to your daily activities safely. Additionally, maintaining good balance can help in preventing injuries, such as falls.
Also known as cardio exercise, it helps to raise your heart rate. This type of exercise strengthens your heart and lungs and can help you feel less tired during and after treatment. Walking is the simplest way to get aerobic exercise. For example, your doctor could suggest walking 40 to 50 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week, at a moderate pace to increase your heart rate.
Those who are under the treatment of cancer often experience muscle loss because of a less active lifestyle. Moreover, some cancer treatments can also cause muscle weakness. Strength training, or resistance training, is very beneficial for cancer patients because it helps you maintain and build strong muscles. Besides helping you in day to day activities, these exercises can help fight osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones that some cancer treatments can cause.
Why exercise works?
Regular exercise can help cancer patients in severalfold. Many shreds of evidence support the fact that exercise training is generally safe for cancer patients and that every patient should maintain some level of physical activity. Exercise can reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar and sex hormones, and improve metabolism and immune function. It all depends on the type of cancer which mechanism will actually work best. For breast cancer, the benefits of exercise are really driven through the impact on sex hormones. It is evidently proved that exercise training is safe in persons who have or might develop breast-cancer-related lymphedema.
Also, exercise can also affect cancer development or risk through reducing obesity, a risk factor for many cancers. There is a dearth of exact reasons why exercise affects certain cancers, but further trials are underway to answer this question. In addition, research findings have raised the possibility that exercise, in addition to breast, can have beneficial effects on survival for patients with colorectal, and prostate cancers.
Research has shown that breast cancer survivors who were the most physically active had a 42% lower risk of death from any cause and a 40% lower risk of death from breast cancer than those who were the least physically active.
Results from multiple epidemiologic studies suggest that physical activity after a colorectal cancer diagnosis is associated with a 30% lower risk of death from colorectal cancer.
There are limited pieces of evidence that stated physical activity after a prostate cancer diagnosis is associated with a 33% lower risk of death from prostate cancer.