The Importance of Staying Active

Article from American Cancer Society

Exercise helps in alleviating cancer-related adverse effects, has a beneficial effect on the whole body and cardiovascular health, and seems to slows cancer progression through probably direct action on tumor-intrinsic factors and by possibly improving the efficacy of the anti-cancer treatment. Non-pharmacological interventions such as healthy diet, yoga, and exercise are positively associated with improved survival and QOL and reduction in some cancer-associated symptoms (fatigue, pain, constipation, dyspnea, and weight and sleep problems) and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with cancer.

Physical activity is any movement by the musculoskeletal system resulting in energy expenditure. Exercise is a planned, structured, and repetitive physical activity that has a purpose and calculated and planned energy expenditure. Exercise can be prescribed during the pre-habilitation phase (time period between cancer diagnosis and initiation of its treatment), habilitation (during treatment), and rehabilitation phase (after therapy in survivors).”

During Treatment:
Many cancer care teams are urging their patients to be as physically active as possible during cancer treatment.” Many people are learning about the advantages of being physically active after treatment, too. Of course, “each person’s exercise program should be based on what’s safe and what works best for them. It should also be something you like doing. Your exercise plan should take into account any exercise program you already follow, what you can do now, and any physical problems or limits you have.

After Treatment:
Many side effects get better within a few weeks after cancer treatment ends, but some can last much longer or even emerge later. Most people are able to slowly increase exercise time and intensity. What may be a low- or moderate-intensity activity for a healthy person may seem like a high-intensity activity for some cancer survivors. Keep in mind that moderate exercise is defined as activity that takes as much effort as a brisk walk.

An aerobic training program can help break the cycle of constant fatigue. In research studies, regular exercise has been linked to reduced fatigue. It’s also linked to being able to do normal daily activities without major problems. An aerobic exercise program can be prescribed as treatment for fatigue in cancer patients, but consult your doctor.

A few tips to assist with tiredness:

  • Set up a daily routine that lets you be active when you feel your best.
  • Get regular, light-to-moderate intensity exercise.
  • Get fresh air.
  • Drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day (unless your doctor tells you not to!) Even more fluids are needed to prevent dehydration if you’re exercising intensely, sweating, or in a hot environment.

Places/ideas for exercise in the Bozeman are, close to home:

  • “M” hiking trail
  • Take a brisk walk around your neighborhood
  • Walk The Gallagator Trail
  • Museum of the Rookies
  • Walking in Downtown Bozeman
  • Lone Peak Tram at Big Sky
  • Hike Sacajawea Peak
  • Montana Grizzly Encounter
  • Hyalite Canyon
  • Gallatin River/Bear Trap Canyon
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Bozeman Hot Springs

Data on exercise Before, During, After Treatment

More information:
Some common questions with answers
Exercise is Crucial