As I continue along my journey of health and knowledge, I realize more and more how important our lifestyle is on our human bodies. In all seriousness, no one ever told me that exercise would get easier the longer I endured getting into shape in the first place. For example, the first month of trying to run a single mile was absolutely dreadful. If anyone would have told me that, only six months after making a goal to run a mile, I would run four consecutive miles…I would have told that person that they were crazy. But alas, fitness has found its way into my life. Combined with gluten-free, healthy eating, I have found nourishment for my body.
I have found fitness and wellness.
What can we do to prevent illness from finding us? Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel once sang, “‘fools,’ said I, ‘you do not know silence like a cancer grows…'” The lyric does resonate truth: we cannot always know what is going on inside our bodies, especially the growth of cancer cells. What can we use as tools to do the best we can in combating cancer, in defeating illness?
Today I am pleased to introduce an article by Melanie Bowen, a staff writer for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. Melanie discusses the options and the power we hold within our own bodies to fight cancer through fitness and wellness.
Fight Cancer by Boosting Your Immune System With Fitness
Physical activity is a critical part of managing cancer. A cancer diagnosis can take quite a toll on a person. Every aspect of a person’s health from exercise to diet must be adjusted to ensure cancer patients heal faster and improve their overall well being. Energy levels tend to decrease when cancer patients are not consuming enough fruits and vegetables or are not exercising enough. Every cancer patient, even mesothelioma patients, should work with their physicians to develop a regimen to keep their energy levels balanced.
Ways the Fitness Can Help Relieve Cancer Symptoms
Physical activity not only helps to maintain energy balance, but it also plays a role in hormone metabolism and insulin regulation. People with colon cancer can particularly benefit from exercise because it helps to remove carcinogens from the colon faster. Exercise also makes the immune system stronger by reducing inflammatory and other immune factors.
Some cancer risks can be reduced by 30 to 40 percent through exercising. People who are sedentary are more likely to develop cancer than people who are constantly active and moving. Physicians realize that patients may get weaker during treatment or without proper nutrition. The exercise regimen can be modified to account for the days when patients are not feeling as up to it.
Fatigue is a common symptom experienced by cancer patients. A regular regimen of exercise can improve survival rates of cancer patients. Therefore, it is important to avoid sedentary activity to prolong life with family, friends, and relatives.
Exercise to Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Reduce the risk of cancer by exercising 30 minutes per day for five days per week or more. There are numerous types of exercise for patients, or anyone else, to participate in. Some common favorites among cancer patients include walking, light weight lifting, swimming and yoga. It is important to speak with your doctor about what regiment is appropriate for you and your diagnosis. There are patients who worked out before and were in great shape before they were diagnosed, and therefore are able to maintain a more strenuous routine during treatment. However, others may have to begin with lifting light weights while sitting up in bed, and others start with beginner yoga classes. Either way, it is very important to not over exert yourself. Start slow and light and gradually you will regain your strength and be able to participate in more advanced or longer sessions.
Most cancer patients feel more energetic and improve their quality of life when they include exercise in their regimen. Patients who feel more energetic have a better outlook on life and this prevents stress hormones from releasing into the blood stream and exacerbating the situation.
Exercise helps to boost the immune system to help fight free radicals. When free radicals are reduced, the chances of developing cancer are lowered. Get your family, friends, and support group together and go out and exercise.
A truly special “thank you!” is extended to Melanie for this article. For more information on the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog or ways to contact Ms. Bowen herself, please feel free to browse the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance website. Please forward this or any of Ms. Bowen’s articles onto anyone who you think (or know) might need it. Today I encourage you to take this knowledge and both literally and metaphorically run with it! Now get off the computer and get out there!