Thursday, 16 February 2012

Meandbob and exericise - Introducing guest blogger David Haas

Physical Fitness Can Help Fight Cancer

Just before my accident (and my energy levels picking up) I was looking into getting back into some kind of exercise regime again – taking it slowly of course!  Note that I did a lot, but I did cycle a bit and walk everywhere. Since my breast and lymph gland ops I have been doing my arm exercises, walks when I can but not much more – however after reading David Haas’ article (guest blog spot below) I wish I had done more. 

David is a cancer patient advocate for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance and writes and researches for the betterment of cancer patients around the United States – his website can be accessed at
"Every stage of cancer is stressful, from the initial diagnosis to recovering from radiation treatments. Even people who are cancer-free fear that they will have to battle cancer again at some point in the future. Fortunately, there can be some relief from the overwhelming burden of battling cancer. Exercise can help cancer patients in a variety of ways at almost every stage of the disease.

Cancer patients all have the same priority: being free of their cancer and preventing it from returning. Not only can exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle prevent you from getting cancer in the first place, but it can help you heal and stop cancer from returning as well. According to, physical activity gives people a greater chance of survival following a diagnosis of cancer. Plus, it reduces the risk of a return.

Regardless of the type of cancer and treatment you’re facing, from chemotherapy to mesothelioma treatment, being overweight gives people a shortened survival period as well as a greater risk for recurrence. Maintaining a high level of fitness, developing muscle, preventing weight gain and having a lean body mass are all helpful in your quest for a cancer-free life. Cancer isn’t the only problem that exercise wards off, either. Physical activity is known to lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease, too.

On top of the physical benefits of exercise, there are several psychological benefits that help cancer patients and survivors as well. Depression is often a side effect of dealing with cancer. Even people who have beat cancer live with the anxiety of it returning. Exercise can help monitor and improve your mood. Working out also increases self confidence, which is often needed after feeling sick for a long period of time. Fatigue, a common side effect of radiation treatments, can be reduced with exercise.

After a cancer diagnosis, it’s recommended to begin exercising as soon as you possibly can. People tend to slow down after finding out that they have cancer, due to feeling sick and depressed. The stress can make an otherwise active person become sedentary. The last thing you may think to do when you’re feeling exhausted is work out, but in the long run, it will actually give you more energy.

A well-rounded workout regime is the best thing for cancer patients and survivors. Flexibility exercises, like stretching and yoga, are the easiest type of physical activity. If you don’t feel up to running and lifting weights yet, then stretching is a good substitute. Try to get in aerobic activity, like waking or swimming, as well as resistance training. Together, these three types of exercises will keep you focused, calm, lean and strong."

Please do access the mesothelioma website where you can also find many interesting articles on fighting cancer

Right now you may not think I am getting much exercise, but I assure you hopping one foot all day pumps my heart up and is at least strengthening one leg and improving my balance, also doing knee exercises in my bad leg, putting all my weight on crutches through my arms is making them stronger, and even keeping in an unusual shape for 10 minutes while undergoing radiotherapy is all helping me to keep fit!  It has been suggested I could do push-ups from my waist but not at all confident doing that ……

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”  ~Plato

“Exercise and application produce order in our affairs, health of body, cheerfulness of mind, and these make us precious to our friends.” -   Thomas Jefferson

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