Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Guest Post- Incorporating Exercise into Traditional Cancer Treatment

I was recently contacted out of the blue by a person named Melanie Bowen, who I have come to learn is an advocate and blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. She thought that my followers might benefit from an article she recently wrote about the benefits of fitness and eating healthy during and after a diagnosis of any kind of cancer.

As I am in total agreement with the idea that exercise can be used as a means to battle SO many diseases, illnesses, depression, post-traumatic stress, etc., not to mention the preventative power of exercise, I agreed to post her article in my blog!

It seems as if more and more people are affected by cancer every day. When I heard from Melanie, I thought immediately of my teammate and friend, Gabriele Anderson, who has battled her way through two cancer diagnoses at a young age, and is the embodiment of how exercise (aka, training as a professional runner) can help a person get through such a scary diagnosis both physically and mentally. Last year, she placed fourth in the Olympic Trials in the 1500m (meaning she was only one spot away from going to London!). Since then, she's rallied back and run even faster times in several events, and inspires me and many others every day.

Since this is her story to tell, not mine, I'll stop here, but she's certainly worth a follow on Twitter! (@GabrieleAnde)

Without any further ado, here's Melanie Bowen's article:

Incorporating Exercise into Traditional Cancer Treatment

Whether you have mesothelioma or were just diagnosed with breast cancer, it can be difficult to feel better every single day. You probably go for traditional treatments recommended by your doctor, but you might not even realize how beneficial and easy it can be to exercise each day or at least a few times a week. Exercise helps you to become stronger and to improve the quality of your immune system. People who exercise regularly tend to evade sickness more than people who are sedentary. By working out regularly, you may be able to see the benefits that exercise can provide to you.

You should never think of exercise as a cure for cancer but you should think of it as a necessary supplement. Exercise should be used to complement your regular treatment so that you feel more energized and active throughout the day. Working out can help to improve energy levels and the levels of mood-boosting hormones in the brain. After you workout, you probably get a feeling of contentment and accomplishment that is unrivaled by anything else. Just think of having these types of feelings while undergoing routine chemotherapy for your cancer and what a benefit it can be for your everyday life.

Before you simply buy a workout DVD and start exercising at home, you need to discuss your options with a professional doctor or registered nurse. This healthcare professional will be able to tell you how much exercise is appropriate and what you need to avoid in order to prevent hurting yourself. As a cancer patient, you may not be able to workout the way a normal and healthy person would and because of this, you need to make slight adjustments to your daily workout routine to reflect on your current state of health.

It does not matter what type of cancer you're battling or even if you are currently in remission, exercise can still be a wonderful addition to your everyday life. You might enjoy taking walks or going for a jog on the treadmill in your home. Other people love doing yoga and find dance classes to be a lot of fun. It is up to you and your doctor what type of exercise you partake in, but make sure that you do not overexert yourself while doing it. The aim is to make you a healthier and happier individual because of a more regulated exercise routine.

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