Since I posted the Contact Me page and email address a few weeks ago I’ve been approached a few times from several readers about guest posting for me. Of course, I welcome(d) the idea. Below is an article written by Melanie* – the first person to submit a piece of writing/research to me for viewing. If you are interested in guest-posting or you simply have a question for me, please visit the Contact page or email me at the address provided there.
“The Role of Fitness During Cancer Recovery
When you are recovering from cancer, it may feel as though you don’t have enough energy left for your daily life. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, having a fitness program that works with your recovery is one of the best ways to boost your energy for the fight against the disease. The important thing when making a fitness plan for your recovery is to find the level of exercise that is right for you. As always, consult with your doctor about which phase of recovery you are in and follow their guidelines when beginning any new exercise program. Depending on your capacity for physical activity, the following are a few exercises to consider during cancer recovery.
If you are in the early stages of recovery or currently undergoing aggressive cancer treatments, it is important to remember to not overexert yourself. Simply going for a light walk can make a world of difference for your physical and psychological well-being overall. Studies have shown that light walking can improve stamina and strengthen bone density. Often, light exercises such as walking are ideal for those undergoing treatment for mesothelioma or other cancers that affect the lungs that may impede normal lung functioning.
Furthermore, walking every day can reduce tiredness from chemotherapy. Even if you cannot walk much, do not get discouraged. There needs to be a starting point from where you need to build your stamina, and a few steps a day are nothing to be ashamed of. This is especially true if you suffer from cancer that affects the lungs.
If you are starting to regain your strength, then you might be well enough to start engaging in moderate exercise. It is important to note that during moderate exercise, generally your breathing should quicken but you should not be out of breath. Water aerobics are perfect if you are ready to take on a moderate level of exercise. It is easier on your joints but provides resistance to every movement that you make. Swimming laps in a pool is a great full body exercise, and it can maximize the benefits of water aerobics. Water aerobics builds cardiovascular endurance, improves strength and circulation, and maintains healthy muscles and joints. All of these are very important for the recovering patient.
If you are almost fully recovered and have gained back a formidable amount of strength, it might be a good idea to start implementing more advanced exercises. More than maintaining your fitness, these can actually improve your physical fitness and allow you to continue living a normal life. One of the best overall advanced exercises that you can take part in is running.
Running works out many parts of your body, and it also greatly improves cardiovascular fitness. Furthermore, you don’t need any equipment but running shoes to engage in this exercise. Whether it is around the neighborhood or at a local park, running can be done virtually anywhere. Remember to pace yourself and do only what you can. It would not help your recovery if you injure yourself, as this would cause you to be inactive for an extended period of time.
Exercise is one of the key components of having a successful recovery from cancer. Patients in cancer recovery who pursue a regular fitness program report higher levels of energy, a better overall mood, and a higher quality of life than patients who do partake in regular exercise.”
*Melanie is currently a Master’s student with a passion that stems from her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis. She often highlights the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. To read more from Melanie, visit her blog for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.