Tips for Exercising with Cancer

Cancer Care, Exercise Tips Steward Health Care

Did you know that exercise can help reduce your risk for colon cancer?

Studies have shown that a person who is active can reduce their risk of colon cancer by more than 20 percent versus a person who is sedentary. And for those who are already being treated, exercise has a myriad of benefits to help you reduce the complications of treatment. It’s a good reason to get moving!

Tips for exercising with cancer

Living with a serious or chronic condition can make exercise feel more daunting. With a few precautions, one can reap all the benefits of a regular exercise program with little risk.

Take the following precautions to ensure safety:

  • Always check with your doctor prior to beginning a new exercise routine
  • Do not exercise with low red blood cell counts (anemia)
  • Avoid exercising in public gyms if you have low white blood cell counts
  • Avoid pools if you have a catheter or feeding tube that could become infected, or newly irradiated skin
  • Do not exercise above a moderate level (equivalent to brisk walking) without clearance from your doctor
  • Start slowly and take rests when needed
  • Always include at least a few minutes of warm-up and cool-down
  • Include exercise for strength, flexibility, and balance
  • If you are unsure of how to get started, enlist the help of a physical therapist

Benefits of exercise

For those undergoing cancer treatments, the benefits of exercise can include:

  • Maintaining or improving physical activities
  • Reducing muscle wasting
  • Lowering the risk of heart disease, bone loss and blood clots
  • Reducing anxiety, depression and fatigue
  • Improving quality of life

 

*Source: National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.gov

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