How Does Exercise Minimize Cancer Treatment Side-Effects?

How Does Exercise Minimize Cancer Treatment Side-Effects?

Exercise can play a significant role in minimizing the side effects of cancer treatment in several ways:

Reduced Fatigue: Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy often cause fatigue. Regular exercise has been shown to improve energy levels and reduce fatigue, helping patients feel more energized and better able to cope with treatment-related tiredness.

Improved Strength and Mobility: Cancer treatments can lead to muscle weakness and loss of mobility. Exercise, particularly strength training and flexibility exercises, can help maintain and improve muscle strength, joint flexibility, and overall physical function.

Enhanced Mood and Mental Well-being: Dealing with cancer and its treatments can take a toll on mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and mood swings. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that help improve mood and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

Better Sleep: Cancer treatments can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia and poor sleep quality. Regular exercise can promote better sleep by regulating the sleep-wake cycle and promoting relaxation.

Reduced Risk of Other Health Issues: Cancer treatments may increase the risk of developing other health issues such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Exercise can help mitigate these risks by improving cardiovascular health, bone density, and insulin sensitivity.

Weight Management: Some cancer treatments can cause weight gain or loss. Exercise can help regulate body weight and composition, which is important for overall health and well-being during and after cancer treatment.

Boosted Immune Function: Exercise has been shown to enhance immune function, which may help the body better tolerate cancer treatments and reduce the risk of infections.

It’s important for cancer patients to consult with their healthcare team before starting any exercise program to ensure it is safe and appropriate for their individual situation. The type, intensity, and duration of exercise may vary depending on factors such as the type of cancer, stage of treatment, and overall health status. Working with a CETI qualified Cancer Exercise Specialist® can help cancer patients develop a personalized exercise plan that meets their specific needs and goals.