CANCER AND EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY

Exercise has been a proven therapy to aid in the rehabilitation pre, during and after cancer treatment. The process of cancer rehabilitation involves physically recovering from your cancer, cancer treatment and also adjusting to any physical changes experienced. Everybody has a different experience and some people’s bodies are affected more than others. 

The first question most people ask before they begin an exercise program is:

“Is it safe?”

The answer is yes! With a trained professional such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.

Cancer itself and its treatment can have a debilitating impact on ones life. Often the most common symptom people report is fatigue. This can be influenced and exacerbated by many factors that feed into a cycle outlined below.

Exercise for clients pre, during and post treatment poses some amazing benefits which include:

  • Increase in mobility and functional status
  • Increase delivery of chemotherapy to cancerous cells and inhibit tumour growth
  • Increase health outcomes i.e. bone, mental and cardiovascular and lymphatic health
  • Increase motivation, concentration, sleep quality and energy levels

Exercise has also been proven to:

  • Decrease fatigue, depression and psychological stress
  • Decrease muscle wastage
  • Reduce the impact of some side effects of treatment and disease i.e. peripheral neuropathy, cancer related fatigue (CRF), lymphoedema, cardiotoxicity
  • Reduce the risk of recurrence or secondary cancer diagnosis

There are many different modes of exercise but research has shown these types have the best effects on people with Cancer:

  • Cardiovascular OR Aerobic training (brisk walking, running, swimming etc.)
  • Resistance/Strength OR Anaerobic training (weights, therabands, cables etc.)
  • Balance and Coordination
  • Flexibility and Agility

Your return or uptake of exercise does not have to be immediate; it should be a progressive step in your rehabilitation based on your lived experience. Activate Health can help with these steps to ensure your safety and well being is managed throughout this journey.