Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Let's Get Physical: Guest Post

Recently, a fellow cancer blogger, David Haas stumbled upon my blog (and here I thought my mom was my only reader) and wanted to be a guest poster. David is a cancer patient advocate for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance and is a regular contributor to their blog. As someone who deals regularly with other Thunder Stealers, and frankly has way more experience than I do, he offers some valuable insight on the importance of staying active before, during, and after treatment:

Cancer and Physical Fitness- Exercising Helps

Many doctors now advise that cancer patients enlist physical fitness as one possible option for feeling better before, during and after cancer treatment. Whether you're fighting mesothelioma or any other type of cancer, you might find it hard to believe that exercise is recommended, especially when you often feel so tired. But the benefits of exercise have proven to be great for those who have received their doctor's permission to enjoy exercise. Here are a few types of exercises you can participate in and the way in which they can help you.


Bicycling is an effective, whole body workout that has benefits beyond the obvious aerobic activity. Thirty minutes, five times per week on a bicycle improves heart health and helps maintain your physical condition. But biking also gets you out of the house, into the sunshine and around other people, both of which are good for your emotional state, too.


Because the buoyancy of water supports your body's weight, swimming is an effective exercise if you need to avoid standing for long periods of time or can't participate in exercises that involve impact, such as walking or jogging. Thirty minutes of swimming is equal to approximately one hour of jogging, so you can do less, if you need to.


Choose to walk outside and you'll reap the same benefits you do when bicycling, but at a slower, gentler pace. Take a walk through your neighborhood or town to incorporate some socializing into your exercise routine.


This peaceful form of exercise helps create a mind-body connection that has benefits that go beyond increasing balance and toning muscles. Practicing yoga can reduce stress and help calm you before going to sleep.

Weight-Bearing Exercises

Lifting lightweight dumbbells helps build and maintain muscles to keep your stamina up and help you endure side effects of cancer treatment. Additionally, working your muscles helps you maintain your range of motion so you can move about freely with pain.

The National Cancer Institute states that
physical activity does more than maintain or improve physical conditioning. It also benefits the mind and emotions, often making it easier to work through with the difficulties of dealing with various types of cancer from breast cancer to mesothelioma, while reducing negative side effects. As studies continue in this area, more and more doctors are making the recommendation that their patients participate in regular exercise activities, as much as they're able.

Thanks for your contribution, David! Now all you Thunder Stealers, pull out your sneakers and get moving!

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