As reported on Dana Farber’s Insight Blog, one of the most common complaints among cancer patients and survivors is the chronic fatigue that the experience after treatment, known as Cancer Fatigue. Typically, this type of weariness occurs either during the chemo treatment or within the first year afterward. It is particularly difficult to handle because it can last for long periods of time, and isn’t even alleviated after sleep or rest.
The good news is that a considerable body of research is finding that, cancer patients who exercise regularly report feeling less tired overall.
Before starting an exercise routine to combat cancer fatigue, please consider the following:
Make sure you pick an exercise activity that you enjoy. If you enjoy what you’re doing, chances are that you will keep up with your routine for longer. Walking is a preferred exercise amongst many cancer patients, but others enjoy activities that include; bicycling, swimming, or running. Mind and body exercises, such as Qigong, tai chi, and yoga have also shown to be beneficial.
Before you begin, is essential to make sure that your exercise routine does not interfere with your treatment or recovery. Inquire your doctor about any precautions you should take and if there are any activities that you should avoid.
To help combat your fatigue, you will want to get at least 3 to 5 hours of moderate activity every week. If you wish to increase your activity level, make sure that you do so incrementally, by no more than 10% per week. For example, if you do a 10-minute swim every day, don’t immediately increase it 30 minutes the following week. Incremental goals are key. Start light, for short periods, and then build up once you have reached a point where you’re getting at least 5 hours of activity.
One indicator that you are going to hard is if your fatigue becomes worse when you exercise. Other warning signs to look out for are extreme shortness of breath, unusually fast heart rate, or dizziness. If your body is telling you it doesn’t feel right, you should scale down the intensity of your exercise routine.
Keep in mind that a little bit of something is better than nothing. Physical activity offers a range of benefits for cancer patients. It helps to lower stress, strengthen muscle mass, elevate mood, improve sleep patterns, and much more.
Even going out of the house for a short walk is fantastic to do, even if you aren’t feeling very well. To regain your range of motion, you might want to consider a stretching program. Staying active is the key.
Please note, the contents of this article do not necessarily represent the official position of the PSMO. If you have any health concerns, please consult your general physician. For any cancer-related concerns and to ensure the best possible advice, please speak to a Cancer Expert. If you would like to reach out to the PSMO, please contact us here or search for your closest PSMO doctor here.
Article Reference Source: http://blog.dana-farber.org/insight/2013/07/exercise-can-help-fight-cancer-fatigue/
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