Cancer Patients Benefit From Yoga
Exercising During Cancer Treatment:
If you have been recently diagnosed with cancer or are undergoing treatment, it’s important to take special care of yourself. Studies show that one of the best ways to do this is to stay physically active. No need to run a marathon or bike 100 miles. It is smart to add some form of regular exercise to your daily life – even during cancer therapy.
Moderate aerobic exercise, such as riding a stationary bicycle or taking a daily walk, coupled with the use of light weights for strength training, can enhance physical well-being and your recovery. We cannot ignore the benefits of exercise as they relate to our cardiovascular fitness, bone strength, lung function and overall mental well-being.
Yoga Helps Manage Depression, Fear, and Anxiety (the Mood Effect):
It’s a fact: exercise produces endorphins and endorphins. Regular exercise, no matter how gentle the movements, allows the body to release endorphins so you can experience a positive boost in mood. In addition, a regular yoga practice can boost self esteem because you feel better about your appearance, strength, and overall physical condition.
Help to Manage Physical Pain:
Beside the well known and painful physiological side effects of cancer treatment, emotional stress can also produce physical pain. Moderate, appropriately modified physical activity aids in managing the physical pain that can be experienced during treatment.
Endorphins can also help reduce a patients perception of pain. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider about concerns or questions you have around exercise during treatment.
Other General Exercise Tips:
- If you don’t have the energy to exercise a full half hour, break it up; try three 10-minute walks during the day.
- Make exercise enjoyable; recruit a walking partner or listen to music with headphones while on a recumbent bike or treadmill.
- Dress comfortably and drink plenty of water.
- Warm up by swinging your arms or marching in place and cool down with gentle stretches.
- Do some gardening (in the summer) or house cleaning (in the winter) – both provide physical workouts.
- Consider yoga and tai chi; though not aerobic, they integrate movement and meditation and enhance wellness.
- Look for programs designed for cancer patients. Some health clubs and hospitals offer exercise classes that address the challenges and needs of people with cancer.
- Listen to your body; don’t exercise if you’re not feeling well or running a fever.
- Before the stores open consider walking a couple laps in the mall.
To learn more about exercise for the cancer patient visit the American Cancer Society here.