The benefits of exercise for the general population are well known. But what if you’re a cancer patient?
Exercise has many of the same benefits for cancer survivors as it does for other adults.
Some of these benefits include an increased level of fitness, greater muscle strength, leaner body mass, and less weight gain. In other words, exercise for cancer patients can make you fitter, stronger and healthier – like anyone else who exercises.
More importantly, the research shows that exercise can reduce the risk of the cancer coming back.
After a cancer diagnosis, people slow down. Stress, depression, and feeling sick or fatigued from cancer or its treatment all tend to make people less active. The problem is that most people stay less active after treatment.
As a long-term solution to the problem of fatigue, taking it easy and avoiding activity is not a good solution, it is important for cancer survivors to get back to exercising to help their recovery.
Here in the UK, a recent study showed that a group-based exercise programme during treatment for breast cancer was a safe, low cost and effective way to provide short and long term physical and psychological benefits.
The following ten exercises can be done on the bed or sitting in a chair. They are suitable for all ages and abilities and are designed to improve circulation and prevent your joints from becoming stiff.
These exercises can help to maintain and improve your muscle strength as well as your general mobility and function. If you can, begin by doing each exercise 5 times (except exercise 1). As your strength improves, gradually increase to 10.