Physical Activity Beneficial for Cancer Patients
Dr. Eric Viegas
People who are physically active before and after a cancer diagnosis are 40% more likely to survive when compared to their sedentary (little to no exercise) counterparts.
A recent study from April 2018 found that exercise holds benefit for all types of cancer. The researchers looked at pre- and post diagnosis physical activity in over 5000 cancer patients who received their diagnoses between 2003-2016. There were more women than men in the study, and the average age was around 60 years old.
According to the authors of the study, the greatest increase in survival was observed in people who exercised 3 to 4 days per week both before and after diagnosis. Interestingly, people who chose to exercise everyday did not fare much better, a boon to the weekend warriors among us!
Interestingly, people who were sedentary 10 years prior to their diagnosis but who decided to become more active after their diagnosis had a 25% increased chance of survival when compared to people who remained inactive after diagnosis.
As the authors stated, “The message is that it’s never too late to start exercising”.
Exercise can help people improve strength, heart and lung function, and overall quality of life.
So what is stopping you from exercising? It’s probably a complex answer, and that’s okay. Exercise should be fun, and something that you can fit into your schedule without adding a high burden of stress. Even something simple like daily walks and stretching can be beneficial for the most sedentary among us.
If injuries are preventing you from meeting your exercise goals, perhaps it’s time for a tune up with your chiropractor or osteopath. If the issue is due to your mood, perhaps it’s time to find ways to address your mental health through diet, lifestyle, and therapy.
Our bodies were made to move, so ensuring that you are taking care of your body’s needs will go a long way to improve your energy levels, stress resilience, and exercise capacity!
Physical Activity Significantly Boosts Survival in Cancer Patients – Medscape – Apr 23, 2018.