The Benefits of Exercise for Mesothelioma Patients
The health benefits, generally, of getting regular exercise are well known. But what about exercise for people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and other types of cancer? Is it safe to exercise while being treated? The truth is that not only is it safe, but exercise is beneficial for anyone living with mesothelioma. Of course, exercise for these patients should be approved by a mesothelioma doctor and guided by a professional. Here are some of the benefits a cancer patient will get from guided, structured exercise.
Exercise Reduces Fatigue
For patients of mesothelioma and other types of cancers, fatigue is a major roadblock to any kind of activity. Fatigue is a common symptom and side effect of cancer treatments. This isn’t just regular tiredness either; this is bone weary fatigue. It can be extremely difficult to feel motivated to do anything active, but in fact exercise actually reduces fatigue.
Studies have proven this and found that when patients follow an exercise regimen that is tailored for their individual needs, the fatigue lessens. When you feel less fatigued, you feel better generally and will be better able to cope emotionally with having and being treated for mesothelioma.
Increase Life Expectancy
Studies have also proven that exercise during cancer treatment extends a patient’s life expectancy. Getting that diagnosis of mesothelioma and a shortened life expectancy along with it is devastating. It is tempting to simply give up, but with exercise you can actually live longer and feel better during the time you have left.
Not only does exercise extend life expectancy for cancer patients, it also reduces the risk of a recurrence. If you are able to battle your mesothelioma and win, exercising regularly will make it more likely that you will be a long-term survivor.
Yoga Improves Sleep
Being treated for mesothelioma and other types of cancers can be uncomfortable. Treatments like chemotherapy cause a number of side effects and consequently make sleeping more difficult. Yoga has a number of health benefits, but for cancer patients one of the best may be that it helps sleep come more easily at night. It also helps to improve the quality of sleep. In turn, these benefits help patients feel more awake during the day and less fatigued.
Exercise Improves Physical Functioning
Being inactive means that losing some of the normal functioning of your body. For instance, cancer patients that are inactive may have atrophied muscles, which make ordinary activities more difficult. Balance can be impaired by inactivity as can movement in joints. Being inactive may even cause or worsen pain in the body.
By exercising regularly during cancer treatment you can improve your balance, keep strength in your muscles, and reduce your dependence on other people to help you do ordinary, daily tasks. Regular exercise also improves circulation, which can reduce pain and prevent the formation of blood clots.
Exercise and Emotional Health
Being sick with cancer, especially such an aggressive cancer as mesothelioma, is emotionally challenging. Living with this cancer and going through treatment causes depression, fear, and anxiety. Coping is not easy, but exercise can help. Regular physical activity improves mood, and reduces depression and anxiety. Exercising is also likely to force you to be social with other people, which further improves mood and helps with coping.
As a cancer patient receiving treatment that causes side effects, you have a lot to deal with. Exercise may seem like another chore to check off the list, but the benefits are overwhelmingly positive once you get started. With the right guidance and a carefully crafted workout plan, you can enjoy a better quality of life while you fight mesothelioma.