Working out with cancer

I have recently been working with a client who got diagnosed with cancer. He didn’t want to stop training though and it was a way for him to cope. Some people might think exercise will drain your body more but actually staying physically active is one of the best ways to take care of yourself.

Now obviously you shouldn’t go and run a marathon but keeping some form of regular exercise is good even during cancer therapy. Keep everything moderate though! no sprinting or powerlifting.

Research has found that there are no harmful effects on patients who do moderate exercise with cancer. Those who do keep themselves moving actually had 40% to 50% less fatigue which is the primary complaint during treatment.

Engaging in regular exercise will increase muscle strength, help your joints and will help with some therapies. It will also be a great way to help your mood and reduce the feelings of depression that usually accompany being diagnosed with cancer.

Now the sooner you start exercising the better! you’ll probably find you need less medication and starting early will lower your risk of complications.

Now before you do start please talk to your doctor or speak to a specialist as they will point you in the right direction. You need to ensure the exercises you’re doing will be safe, no ordinary PT will be able to tell you this. My client came in with a full training schedule written up for him and my main job was to provide support and watch his form.

You should start off slowly but try get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week. If you don’t have the energy to exercise for a full half hour you can break it up to three 10 minute sessions. If you’re on radiation therapy stay away from swimming pools though because you’ll be exposed to bacteria that can cause infections. Just remember if you’re feeling exhausted don’t force yourself to workout though!