Monday, March 19, 2012

Running to Fight Cancer




I am proud to be featuring this article tonight written by Liz Davies. Cancer has touched so many of our lives. We all know that it has taken my world and shaken it up. I wish there would have been an opportunity for my mom to really fight her cancer.




Running to Fight Cancer

Though some doctors may still advise against strenuous physical activity for patients, the evidence shows that every cancer patient will benefit from engaging in a regular exercise program. Just how much and what type of exercise will depend on the current fitness level of the patient and form of cancer. More is better though, barring over-exertion, and everyone capable will gain even more benefits from endurance running than traditional aerobics.

Overcoming Fatigue to Gain Better Health

After the initial shock of diagnosis has worn away, treatments take their toll on the energy levels of the individual. Studies have shown that treatment-induced fatigue can last for years and result in greatly diminished levels of physical activity. The conditions reinforce one another in a downward spiral toward the development of other chronic diseases and even cancer recurrence.

Overcoming the fatigue enough to engage in regular workouts will be a challenge, but the rewards are too many to miss out on. Basic aerobics have been used to
successfully reduce fatigue in several studies.

Is More Really Better?


The most common statement about exercise and cancer is to avoid physical inactivity. This is a short way of saying that some exercise is better than none at all. But is more exercise better? One study found that the more vigorous the exercise program was, the more benefits men with prostate cancer gained. Importantly, endurance and resistance exercises were found to combat the side effects of hormone therapy for prostate cancer patients. A large study on colorectal cancer patients found that more vigorous exercises reduced the risk of death by nearly 50 percent and decreased risk of recurrence.

Matching the Exercise to the Individual


Endurance running is a vigorous form of exercise that many patients are not ready to start with immediately. The same goes for resistance training and even moderate-intensity aerobics. Different types of exercises are better for different types of cancer patients. For example, cancer that affects the lungs like lung cancer and mesothelioma causes cancer patients to focus on cardio exercises while breast cancer patients might focus on flexibility exercises. It is wise to consult with both the oncologist and a physical therapist to determine a good starting place and devise a plan for better fitness. Working up to more intense forms of exercise is necessary for safety and to preserve the benefits.

Exercise offers a powerful remedy for symptoms experienced during treatment and a long-term investment in health. The sedentary lifestyle is a known risk factor for developing cancer, and changing this at any point can help by providing a better quality of life, increased chance of survival and lower risk of recurrence.



Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April. If you would like to contact her she can be reached at healthylizd@gmail.com.




2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I'm so sorry about your mom, Jen, and I wish everyone affected by cancer had the opportunity to fight it.

    ReplyDelete

Please comment and I will respond!