If you’re undergoing chemotherapy treatments, thelast thingon your to do list is exercise, but it may be just what the doctor ordered for a healthier, more energetic road to recovery!
The goal of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments is to cure the cancer or keep it from spreading. Chemotherapy targets cells that are actively growing and dividing, and many of these drugs are difficult to tolerate. They can cause a range of unpleasant side effects, such as fatigue, pain, and nausea.
In the past, people undergoing treatment were told to rest and limit physical activity, but recent research suggests that exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment but can actually lessen side effects and improve the quality of your life. Regular exercise during treatment may help you improve your physical abilities and blood flow, increase balance, keep muscles from wasting due to inactivity, and lower the risk of depression.
Before beginning or returning to an exercise program, each person needs to take into account their stamina, strength, and fitness level. While the goal is to stay active, it may be at a lower intensity than you’re used to during treatment. Slow walks are a great way to introduce physical activity back into your life. Your doctor can tailor a routine that meets your needs and fitness level.
Many people are exploring the benefits of being physically active after treatment, too. A number of recent studies have looked at the impact of physical activity on cancer recurrence and long term survival. Cancer survivors who are active have a lower risk of relapse compared with those who are inactive. Physical activity may even help you live a longer, more robust life.