The Importance of Exercise with Cancer Treatment

By Brian Jones, BS, CES

Often, a person who is undergoing a form of cancer treatment like radiation or chemotherapy may be so fatigued that the last thing they want to consider doing is exercising. However, several studies have shown (along with the increasing amount of personal observations I have experienced) quite the opposite.

Regular exercise has many benefits including:

  • Helping the body remove toxins
  • Utilizing nutrients and oxygen more efficiently
  • Increasing metabolism and appetite
  • Resuming normal sleep patterns
  • Improving immune system function
  • Reducing the risk of falls
  • Maintaining or improving coordination
  • Increasing flexibility, bone density, muscle mass and so much more

An appropriate exercise dose, with the right amount of intensity, duration and frequency, can be very beneficial to anyone, at any stage of cancer survivorship.

Over the past five years, I have witnessed several individuals combat the aforementioned symptoms and come out able to do the things they did before, and even some new things!

Patients involved in the Rose Cancer Exercise program have overcome acute diabetes, fatigue, immobility and inflexibility- all to go on and lead their lives as they desire.

Returning to activities such as cycling and running, or being able to do simple things like stand on one foot or wear heeled shoes again, have all been accomplished through regular participation in appropriate forms of exercise.

An exercise program should include a good balance of aerobic, flexibility, resistance and balance/coordination training.

Every session should include monitoring of vitals, and begin and end with a warm-up and cool-down session. Care should be taken to perform only those exercises which are appropriate for the individual, with regard to any limitations given by his or her physician. Also, the exercises performed should be done at moderate intensities, as exercise that is too intense can result in several complications.

Rose Medical Center offers a unique program that is designed to meet the needs of the individual at any stage of their treatment- from diagnosis, to treatment to radiation.

Each session is led by a qualified Exercise Physiologist, who is certified as a Cancer Exercise Specialist and held in our physical therapy gym.

For more information, or to inquire about the Rose Cancer Exercise program, please contact Brian Jones at 303-320-2818 or visit our website.

The Rose “Surviving Well” Calendar is a 15-month calendar highlighting our cancer services, physicians, and some inspirational stories from our patients! To request your FREE calendar please click here.

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