Let’s get physical for cancer patients
It such a great feeling when the rush of endorphins is released into the body. Other than day-to-day walking and pilates , it has been over 4 months since I did some form of regular physical exercise. I broke the spell and decided to start swimming again. Over the last 2 days, I eased my way and swam some laps. Boy, it has been too long and I loved my time. Today, my arms are sore and I don’t mind it one bit. I am not the greatest swimmer nor am I training for the next Olympics. I take my time in between strokes and I even stop for a minute every few laps before continuing. Swimming relaxes me, clear my thoughts and purely focusing my strokes. The other benefits is that it helps strengthen my lower back and help me to cope better with side effects of chemo.
Fatigue is a very common side effect of chemo. For me, this is one side effect that hits me quite hard. For cancer patients, it is encouraged to include some light exercise like walking to help battle the fatigue, it boosts physical functions, and just makes the quality of life a little better. There is an abundance of reports encouraging cancer patients to avoid inactivity. What a better way to get some natural Vitamin D by taking a walk around the park with family or friends. I know it is tough even on better days to muster enough energy and get yourself moving. The key message is to listen to your body. As a former gym rat who did squats with at least 100 pounds weight and ran 5km quite comfortable, I had to change my overall workout. I tried to do a light jog after completing my first batch of chemo. I couldn’t jog comfortably without feeling some aches in my knee-joint. I know that the chemo drugs had some impact on m physiological functions. Hence, swimming is the best workout for me. Pilates is my other favorite workout. It helps to build my core muscles and a perfect way to do some strength workout without the heavy weights.
Having said the above, the mantra of exercise and eating right to prevent or reduce the risks of cancer has been over publicized . I have yet to come across any campaigns whereby medical professions encouraging cancer patients to exercise during and after treatments. Why is that? I need to dig into this topic further.
Time to get some shut-eye. Tomorrow is chemo round 2.