20 Jun Group exercise benefits cancer patients’ quality of life
Exercise and Cancer Care
The overwhelming nature of a diagnosis of cancer can lead to negative effects on your personal feeling of well-being and way you live your life. Once diagnosed, the cycle of multiple medical appointments to plan care, and the hours for the necessary assessments and medications begins. This stress, as well as the impact of side affects of treatment and additional follow up appointments can understandably lead to uncertainty of how to best help yourself and be supported by others.
Once you finally complete treatments and begin the road to recovery, physical and psycho-social long term effects of treatment need to be considered. Symptoms including fatigue, pain, anxiety and depression, reduced physical fitness and function can all negatively impact your quality of life (QoL) and may not just go away with time. These side effects can impact activities you normally take for granted, such as attending family events, completing daily tasks and your favourite weekend pastimes. This can add more stress to an already uncertain and complex time for a person and their loved ones.
To combat some of the post-treatment effects, regular exercise has been proven to be highly beneficial and a recommended part of your lifestyle. Improvements to your current aerobic capacity and muscular strength will assist you to return to your ideal function and fitness, while also improving other symptoms.
Exercising with others also has long term and daily benefits. Studies show that group exercise sessions not only improve physical fitness, but the increase in socialisation leads to a sense of community and a feeling of support from others who had been through a similar experience.
Benefits of Resistance Training
Resistance exercises doesn’t mean that you need to be lifting heavy weights all of the time in a gym. Learning some basic movements in a supervised environment can enable you to continue an action plan at home. Developing good fundamentals helps increase the benefits of structured programs, plus equip you to follow through with self-led exercise at home. Building your own expertise in exercise will encourage active daily habits focusing on regaining muscle strength for overall health benefits.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
Building a walking habit can be done anywhere and increases your aerobic capacity at a self-paced level. As small as 5 – 10 min at a time, once or twice a day will improve your fitness and fatigue levels. Never underestimate the power of short stints of exercise on a regular basis! A walking group is a great example of a social activity to participate in. It can be in a facilitated walking group, or with friends and family to support you. Again, incorporating social catch ups into your exercise program is a fantastic way to improve not only fitness and function, but also mental health.
If you are keen for any advice and support, contact us at FreshStart Rehabilitation and make everyday a fresh start.