Exercise Classes for Cancer Survivors
More Community Centers Offering Exercise Classes To Cancer Survivors
According to a recent study that was performed at Stanford University, small community-based fitness programs offer cancer survivors significant improvements in physical as well as psychological functioning. Study results showed that after 12 to 16 weeks of participating in a small group fitness program, fatigue, stress, vitality and overall fitness improved. Participants who continued the program for a year showed substantial improvements. Fitness programs included lifting weights, leg and chest presses and seated rowing with improvements noted in both women who had survived breast cancer and men with other types of cancer. With numerous additional studies also reporting that regular exercise appears to lower the risk of cancer as well as reduce the risk of reoccurrence and help prolong life in those with cancer, fitness centers and gyms are beginning to offer special classes for cancer patients. Many YMCA centers have also added cancer fitness programs to their schedules.
Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find a community exercise program, but there are other alternatives that can be just as effective. For instance, some cancer survivors have begun to start their own fitness groups in areas that do not offer these types of programs. Others have begun walking; doing stretch exercises as well as exercising using resistance bands. What types of exercises are done and for how long is up to each individual. Some days it may be impossible to participate due to treatment. The point is to get up and move around when feeling well enough. Increasing activity will reduce the chance of weight gain, which is associated with new and reoccurring cancers as well as provide all the rewards that exercise offers.
Although in past years, doctors often advised cancer patients to reduce their activities and rest, today many oncologists are urging patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, and even something rare and deadly like mesothelioma to participate in physical activity as much as possible while undergoing treatment. According to www.cancer.org, there are several benefits of exercise that can help patients while going through treatment. Some of these include reducing nausea, less fatigue, improved muscle tone, improved balance to reduce the risk of falling, improved self-esteem and improved quality of life. Before starting any exercise program, it is always best to discuss it with your doctor. Depending on the type of cancer, some patients may be restricted in performing certain exercises.