Physical Fitness and Cancer: So Many Benefits
Being diagnosed with cancer can be a difficult and traumatic time. Whether you are newly diagnosed or in remission, it is important that you take care of yourself to fight against cancer. Physical fitness, though not a cure-all, can make a substantial difference in both your physical and mental health.
Research has long looked at the health benefits of exercise. Regular physical activity can help you lose weight, maintain healthy bones and muscles and reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Physical activity can also help to improve mood and psychological outlook.
Recent research has suggested that physical fitness can affect the risk of developing cancer. Physical activity is linked to lower risks of breast, colon, prostate, lung, and endometrial cancer, according to numerous scientific studies. Studies have found that physical activity can reduce the risk of colon cancer by as must as 50 percent.
However, exercise does more than just prevent cancer. A British cancer charity examined 60 scientific studies and surveyed over 400 health professionals on the topic of cancer and physical fitness. The report found that with exercise, breast cancer patients had a reduced risk of recurrence or dying by nearly 40 percent. Prostate cancer patients saw a 30 percent reduction in fatalities.
Exercise also helps with negative side effects that cancer patient’s deal with regularly. Symptoms such as fatigue, heart disease or osteoporosis can all be improved with regular physical fitness. Many people diagnosed with cancer also deal with mental symptoms, especially in fatal cancers such as mesothelioma. Regular exercise can help to improve mood and ward off depression.
Because of these recent studies, many doctors are changing their advice to cancer patients. Instead of telling people to take it easy and relax, doctors recommend engaging in an active lifestyle. Aerobic activities, such as cycling, walking or swimming for just 30 minutes per day at least five days a week provides patients with the health benefits.
Over 11 million Americans have cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society also encourages people to engage in physical fitness to reduce cancer risk and improve treatment outcomes in patients already diagnosed with cancer.
Consult with your physician before you begin a new exercise, especially if you have cancer. Your doctor may recommend certain exercises or suggest you avoid other exercises, depending on your exact illness.