Dublin Marathon, Mile 3

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Guest Blogger!

Today I have the pleasure of having a "guest blogger" on my page! The following article was written by Melanie Bowen and is about the benefits of fitness and eating healthy during and after any kind of cancer. Feel free to read and leave any comments if you wish! And thanks to Melanie...

"Motivated For Recovery"

"Exercise plays a critical role in maintaining total health for any individual.  When diseases such as cancer or other conditions that weaken the immune system weaken a person, the benefits of exercise can play an even more pivotal role.  Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can be lengthy ordeals that ultimately take a toll on the body.  Their side effects, which include nausea, pain, and depression, can also decrease the quality of life for patients.  Studies have regularly shown that exercise during these periods of treatment are a valuable aid in maintaining the body's strength and lessening the severity of such side effects.

Exercise that can be done during treatments for some cancers such as melanoma or mesothelioma should not be strenuous.  Patients must realize that their exposure and condition does put limitations on the kinds of activities they can perform.  The most common regiment for activity includes aerobic exercises, stretching, and strength training.  Aerobic exercises are valuable in a variety of ways.  These serve to strengthen the patient's heart and assist in maintaining a healthy body weight during treatment.  Typical exercises of this nature include performing light housework and walking or jogging.  The patient's goal is to raise the heart rate on a regular basis.  Stretching prevents incurring any further damage to muscle tissues and joints.  Additionally, strength training is typically done using small weights in order to increase the patient's endurance and overall muscle function.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but exercise will actually combat the feelings of fatigue caused by cancer treatments.  It may be difficult for patients to engage in these activities at first, however, the results will encourage further engagement.  Patients exercising on a regular basis experience better sleep during the night, lower the risk of complication during cancer treatments, protect their bones, and are better able to maintain a regular diet.  Exercise has even been shown to lessen the need for some medications during the length of treatment.

The elevation of a patient's mood is a primary reason that many engage in these types of physical activities.  The combination of the cancer with the treatments typically causes mild to severe depression.  Exercise combats these feelings and begins to return a sense of empowerment to the individual fighting the disease.  Exercise during cancer treatment has also resulted in a decrease in the amount of time needed for recovery in most patients.  It is possible to push the body too hard prematurely, however, so all patients should consult their doctor regarding their specific exercise plan.  The physician can provide appropriate guidelines that will lessen the chances of any further injuries."    

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