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John A. Mays, MSEd
Importance Of Exercise For Cancer Recovery
Fitness Together

Importance Of Exercise For Cancer Recovery

Consistent exercise can be one of the most important tools for recovering cancer patients. If you are recovering from a recent cancer diagnosis, you can plan to return to good health. After treatments, exercise can be key to your initial recovery. Exercise is vital to improving your long-term health so that you can enjoy the many years ahead as a vibrant, healthy, cancer survivor.

The recommendations for cancer survivors are no different from the recommendations for anyone who wants to improve their overall health exercise, eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, avoid tobacco and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

But for cancer survivors, these strategies have many additional benefits. These simple steps can improve your overall mood and quality of life, while smoothing your transition into a normal, active life.

Regular exercise increases your sense of well-being after cancer treatment and can speed your recovery. Here’s what you can do to take care of yourself after cancer treatment.

Cancer survivors who exercise progressively may experience

Increased strength and endurance

Fewer signs and symptoms of depression

Less anxiety

Reduced fatigue

Improved mood

Higher self-esteem

Less pain

Improved sleep

Adding physical activity to your weekly routine doesn’t take a lot of extra work. With a qualified trainer, you can ensure that you progress safely. Focus on small steps to make your life more active. Take the stairs more often or park farther from your destination and walk the rest of the way. Check with your doctor before you begin any structured, progressive exercise program.

With your doctor’s approval, start slowly and work your way up. The American Cancer Society recommends adult cancer survivors exercise for at least 30 minutes five or more days a week. As you recover and adjust, you can get stronger and even surpass your previous levels of fitness as you progress beyond the cancer diagnosis.

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