Friday, November 18, 2011

Cancer Wellness Programs: Recovery Through Fitness

Cancer Wellness Programs: Recovery Through Fitness 

   Exercise plays an important role in health and wellness programs, especially for those who have lost their health to cancer. Many cancer recovery programs focus on reclaiming health and wellness through exercise and meditation. They are always tailored to meet the needs of individual cancer patients. Just about anyone can benefit, from breast cancer survivors to those facing rare and trying mesothelioma treatment.

   Cancer wellness programs provide many of the same benefits other exercise programs offer -- better circulation, stronger muscles, and improved energy and stamina. But their benefits go beyond the physical. Cancer patients who engage in exercise experience a decreased isolation, for example, and a remarkable sense of empowerment.

Physical Benefits

   Many cancer patients view their fitness recovery programs as motivating and inspiring. They credit cancer wellness programs with helping them “get back into life,” at a time when it may be hard to get out of bed.

   Conventional treatments are proven to fight cancer aggressively. But patients are usually left with negative side effects, including pain, nausea; sleep problems, anxiety, and depression. Exercise helps patients tolerate treatment better, and it helps them sleep better. In fact, moderate exercise during the treatment phase can alleviate physical pain and eliminate the need for anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications.


    For most people, undergoing cancer treatment means losing control and power over their own body. Fitness programs, whether they involve gentle stretching movements or more involved exercise, serve to empower cancer survivors.


    Motivation is a huge benefit of cancer wellness programs. When cancer patients are motivated to participate in exercise and meditation, they are typically motivated to continue their cancer treatment. They are more inspired and motivated in life, in general, which helps in the recovery process.


   Many people who managed to maintain physical fitness before cancer are surprised to learn they have lost their sense of balance during treatment. Wellness programs help them find that balance. Classes generally involve balance work and core strength, as well as cardio work and other strengthening exercises. Meditation and affirmation help patients stay focuses and grounded.

According to the National Cancer Institute, physical activity can reduce the risk for developing cancer. Colorectal cancer is one of the more extensively studied cancers with regard to exercise. But fitness is important for people with all cancer types, including endometrial, prostate, mesothelioma, and lung cancers.

Cancer patients are encouraged to stay active between fitness classes, and to continue their exercise work at home. Not only do cancer wellness programs strengthen patients physically, but they also provide emotional and spiritual strength. They also give patients a sense of belonging, so they know they are not alone.

Guest Blogger
David Haas

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