Can Regular Exercise Prevent Cancer?
It is not surprising to hear someone ask – can regular exercise prevent cancer? People are getting more and more aware about cancer. The fight against cancer isn’t one that affects our body alone. Our mental health is as much at stake as every other part of us.
A healthy person is one who maintains their wellbeing both physically and emotionally. But in a battle against disease as deadly as cancer, how far can an individual push themselves to attain that goal? And where should one draw the line?
People diagnosed with cancer symptoms struggle with these thoughts. With a body gradually deteriorating in health and a mind battling fear and hopelessness, the idea of exercising might seem rather irrational. Still, a keener look can show us how something as simple as regular exercise can prevent cancer. Physical activity boosts us in our fight with cancer.
An exercise regimen during treatment was associated with significantly improved
- Physical function
- Energy levels
- Quality of sleep
- Overall quality of life
How can Regular Exercise prevent Cancer?
Regular exercise can prevent cancer in numerous ways. Below are some important benefits of exercising:
- Too much rest can cause a loss of body function, muscle weakness, and reduced motion range. So, many cancer care providers today are urging their patients to remain as physically active as they can during cancer treatment. Upon recovery, too, many people learn about the benefits of exercising.
- Regular exercise can prevent cancer recurrence. Growing number of studies are investigating long-term survival. Exercise benefits cancer survivors by boosting cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, body composition, self-esteem, satisfaction, and several life factors.
- Studies show that patients with cancer symptoms who exercise regularly report having less fatigue by 40 to 50 percent. So, while getting up and moving around can require a lot of effort at first, regular exercise can prevent cancer by reducing fatigue.
With a proper diagnosis, one can make a brief assessment regarding the progress of the cancer cells in their body. This can include the rate of cancer progression and the physical activity options lying with the person.
Tips to Remember
Can regular exercise can prevent cancer? Yes, but remember these tips below:
- Always consult your oncologist or cancer care provider – Many a times, exercising can act detrimental to the cancer treatment that the patient is receiving, be it chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, etc. Therefore it is always advisable to consult a medical practitioner before moving forward with it. For example, for someone with advanced lung cancer, exercising can lead to breathlessness and other complications.
- Exercise to suit your needs – The patient’s exercise plan should consider any exercise program that she / he is already following, what they can do now, and any physical problems or limitations that they may have. Some things may affect one’s physical ability, for example, the type of cancer (be it ovarian cancer, mouth cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, etc., all of them affect the patient differently) and the stage, stamina (endurance), strength and fitness.
- The goal is to stay as fit and active – Overworking yourself and pushing past the limit does not help in any way. It is essential to be aware of your body and be cautious at all times.
- Keep track of your treatment – Occasionally, a cancer patient may need to change the exercise routine to match the activity cycle. For example, during chemotherapy if there are side effects, exercising may have to adjust. Or, during radiotherapy or immunotherapy, exercise may need to be decreased and stopped at the end of the cancer treatment, immediately or in the following weeks.
One must not forget that physical activity is a significant part of rehabilitative care. However, exercise is only functional when balanced with effective integrative cancer treatment.
Precautions to be taken while exercising to Prevent Cancer
Regular exercise can prevent cancer, but some precautions could be crucial. Below are the necessary precautions during exercising in cancer:
- Check with your doctor always before you start any exercise program. This is particularly important if your cancer treatments can affect your lungs (such as the chemotherapy bleomycin or chest radiation), your heart (such as doxorubicin or epirubicin chemotherapy), or if you are at risk for lung or heart disease.
- If you have low red blood cell counts (anemia), do not exercise.
- Refrain from exercising if you have excessive pain, nausea / vomiting, or any other symptom that causes you concern.
- Try to work out lightly for ten minutes every day if you feel tired or uninclined toward exercising. Do not practice exertion above a modest level of effort without first talking to your doctor.
The key is to keep your exercise routine quick and fun. Exercising and relaxing are great ways to relieve stress. Remember, regular exercise can prevent cancer, including its symptoms and metastasis. Stress reduction is an essential part of recovery and healing from cancer.