How to Manage Cancer Related Fatigue with Exercise? Most cancer patients often suffer cancer-related Fatigue while undergoing Cancer Treatment. Fatigue occurs due to a multitude of psychological, social, and biological factors. A recent study suggests that the chief origin of Fatigue is the alteration of the muscular energy systems primarily caused by Cancer Treatment and Cancer Treatment side effects. Many extensive types of research have been conducted in the last few years that lead to the factor that exercise can control and reduce the Fatigue intensity caused by cancer.
Fatigue is unquestionably one of the most fundamental conditions that patients experience while undergoing Cancer Treatment. This symptom is said to affect about 70% of cancer patients undergoing Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. If not treated, Fatigue can grow into an agitating and disturbing factor. A recent report suggests that 30% of cancer survivors experience the never-ending symptoms of cancer for countless years, one of them being Fatigue.
What is physical fatigue?
Physical Fatigue is a common and frequent result due to the variation of the muscular energy systems affected by Cancer Treatment. The muscle cells of the body achieve energy through two distinctive metabolic pathways. The first pathway involves the oxidation of carbohydrates and fats into carbon dioxide and water in the mitochondria as an aerobic process. The second pathway or anaerobic glycolysis occurs after the reduction of oxygen supply. This process incompletely metabolizes glucose, thereby producing ATP and lactic acid.
Some pointers to know about Fatigue
- Fatigue can extend to a severe stage, making it hard for cancer patients to perform their everyday schedule with ease. Thus, Fatigue is said to have saddening social and economic consequences.
- Fatigue is a natural and indispensable component of physiologic self-administration. This symptom is encountered while performing intense and strenuous activities.
- It safeguards the body from critical and exhaustive efforts. Nonetheless, Fatigue can become neurotic when it consistently starts appearing during your day-to-day activities, thereby persisting for a longer time than usual.
- Many cancer patients experience never-ending Fatigue that extends to become severe due to which patients tend to lose their will to go through the treatment.
Many ethnological mechanisms hypothesized to explain the rise of Fatigue in various cancer patients. In many cancer patients, Fatigue plays a devastating role of enhancing other exhaustive symptoms such as Fuji’s and electrolyte disturbances, pain, impaired nutritional status, anemia, weight loss, fluctuation in the metabolic concentration of the body, poor functioning of the nervous system, and imbalance in the sleeping schedule. Many psychological factors work towards the genesis of Fatigue caused by cancer. An expert, Nerenz et al. studied a powerful link between emotional distress and Fatigue experienced during Cancer Treatment. Fatigue moreover also leads to Depression and Anxiety in many patients.
Researchers have not been able to prove the factual association of psychology with Fatigue. Due to this, the real reason for the appearance of these symptoms isn’t fully understood. The interlinking of Fatigue between different etiologic mechanisms is complicated. However, most medical experts suggest that the origin of Fatigue caused by cancer is a multifactorial genesis.
What does one go through while experiencing fatigue?
Fatigue, in a nutshell, is termed as exhaustion, weariness, lack of energy, and mood disturbance. Fatigue tends to affect different components of one’s ability and lifestyle. Thus, the meaning of Fatigue caused by cancer varies from patient to patient. Many patients experience loss of memory, inability to finish everyday tasks, trouble in concentration, or even Depression. Therefore, Fatigue is a link between enhanced mental distress, psychological disturbance, and physical disturbance.
- Many recently conducted studies suggest that exercise has played a fundamental role in enhancing the physical performance of cancer patients experiencing myeloablative therapies.
- Many patients that participated in endurance training programs had a considerable improvement in their physical performance.
Can exercise help to fight cancer-related fatigue?
The consequences of physical activity aren’t directly restricted to enhance muscular and cardiovascular functioning. Regular exercising can unquestionably result in boosting your mood, decreasing the feeling of fatigue, gaining self-esteem and independence, boosting the patient’s confidence, thereby eliminating the factors of Depression and Anxiety. Many cancer patients that participated in intense training programs felt a sense of enhanced physical independence and an improved energy level.
- Recent studies suggest and guide Manage Cancer-Related Fatigue with Exercise that strenuous training programs, including 30 minutes of bicycling with the help of a bed ergometer, substantially decreased Fatigue caused by a lack of physical activity during the Cancer Treatment.
- Yet another study observed 20 patients after bone marrow removal who walked on a treadmill for 20 minutes per day for 6 weeks. Researchers found improved heart rate, physical performance, and decreased lactate concentration as a result of exercising.
- A controlled and randomized study of patients who engaged in 6 weeks of endurance training after high-dose Chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplantation recorded lower Fatigue scores and higher haemoglobin levels after the end of the training program.
- Research showed a prominent improvement in the levels of cancer-related Fatigue in patients who engaged in aerobic training compared to the one who took up resistance training and alternative forms of exercise.
Tips for exercising with cancer-related fatigue
One of the first things to keep in mind when engaging in a physical activity while having cancer-related Fatigue is to know the balance between exercise and rest. Your body requires plenty of rest along with exercise to stave off Fatigue. Therefore, be sure to rest sufficiently. Aside from this, there are few other tips for you to exercise with fatigue
- Pick an activity you enjoy. This can be walking, yoga, or dancing.
- Choose a time for exercise that is comfortable to you and stick to it.
- Have short-term (ex: walk in the neighbourhood for 15 minutes on a day or two in the week) and long-term (ex: to increase to daily walks in the neighbourhood) exercise goals.
- Start slow and build up on a steady pace
- Track you progress. Better yet, exercise with loved ones to help you keep in track of your progress.
- Stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise.
Some exercises that help with cancer-related fatigue
When it comes to setting up a workout regime, it is always better to have a physical or occupational therapist do it for you. Your therapist can, then, come up with a plan suitable for your condition.
Here are some exercises that will help with cancer-related fatigue
- Aerobic exercises: Aerobic exercises like swimming, light jogging, riding a bike, and walking outside or on a treadmill have been found to be effective against Fatigue.
- Exercises that help you feel stronger: Simple exercises like ankle circles, ankle pumps, sitting kicks, marching in place, arm raises, and stretches help reduce the feeling of Fatigue. Moreover, breathing exercises have been found to be effective for the same.
Endurance exercise is rapidly rising as a source of combating Fatigue caused by cancer. Many endurance training programs are leading a new-age approach towards dealing with Fatigue experienced by patients undergoing Cancer Treatment. Many studies suggest that moderate or vigorous exercise has helped many patients decrease the long-term symptoms of cancer. Many studies have reported that physical activity has a positive effect on boosting the immune system. Although limited sources and studies suggest the benefits of endurance exercise for relieving cancer fatigue, extensive research can help narrow the effective results of exercising.