Being Fit While Fighting Cancer
Guest Contribution by Melanie Bowen
General Benefits of Fitness
Physical fitness has a number of benefits for your many aspects of health. It plays a major role in the maintaining the energy balance of the body. The term energy balance is referencing the effects that weight, diet, and physical activity have on health. Some other benefits of physical activity include: weight control, reduction in the risk for diabetes and high blood pressure, keeping the bones, joints and muscles healthy, reducing the risk of heart disease, and reducing the risk of premature death. In order to gain the benefits of physical activity, it is recommended that adults get moderate-intensity activity lasting for at least 30 minutes for at least five days in a week. Vigorous-intensity level activity can be performed instead for twenty minutes at least three times a week.
Fitness and Cancer
Since the body’s immune system fights cancerous cells, along with other foreign bodies that may be in it, any aids to the body’s overall health can also be direct aids for the immune system. This makes it easier for the body to fight any foreign bodies including cancer. Another major reason for participating in physical activity is the increased cancer survival rates. Fitness, in addition to improving quality of life and minimizing fatigue, helped in dealing with treatment side effects. For those afflicted with mesothelioma, simple activities, such as walking, were shown to be strong aids in the energy levels of those undergoing treatment. Furthermore, physical activity has been shown to increase the rates of survival in women diagnosed with breast cancer compared to women who were sedentary. Colon cancer patients were also shown to have lower risks of the recurrence when patients participated in regular physical activity.
Physical activity has been shown to be a good overall aid to human health as well as to surviving many, if not all, types of cancer. The amount of activity needed to gain the benefits is a reasonably small portion of a person’s day and thus can be easily worked into a daily routine. Getting in the much-needed exercise today could help keep away a potentially deadly adversary down the line. Talk to your doctor today to develop a plan and get fit today!
2 thoughts on “Being Fit While Fighting Cancer”
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. Her response? Sign up for a half-marathon in June. We have always been runners, but this will be our first race longer than a 10K! She is my inspiration to run as is everyone out there fighting.
Wow Ani, you and your Mom are amazing! Your message touched my heart, thank you for sharing and enjoy the half-marathon in June! Incredible 🙂