I am delighted to welcome David Haas with his guest blog. It’s a sensitive but significant subject area being dealt with in this post; well worth absorbing if you, or someone close to you, is touched by cancer. While I have no experience of cancer myself (personally or professionally) it does seem that we have something in common: the belief that staying in good shape helps us to remain more resilient through life’s challenges. In this article David talks the issue through but first of all, a little more about the man himself:
Joining the organization in 2011, David Haas is a cancer support group and awareness program advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In addition to researching the many valuable programs available to our site’s visitors, David often blogs about programs and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer, while creating relationships with similar organizations.
Cancer is an ugly word that sends fear and panic through the minds of most who hear this word in a doctor’s office. For those battling cancer, research indicates exercise is just what the doctor ordered to help fight this disease.
According to Rush University Medical Center, exercise not only helps prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, it also helps those suffering from these conditions. Research shows those preparing for surgery or chemotherapy after any kind of cancer diagnosis, whether it is a blood cancer like Leukemia or rare lung cancer like mesothelioma, often fare better in surgery and recovery if they exercise regular prior to the operation. Exercise helps cancer patients stay alert and less tired while dealing with treatment.
In addition to the health benefits of exercise during the treatment process, the American Cancer Institute reports that cancer survivors can reduce the risk of their cancer returning or developing into secondary cancers by keeping active.
While fitness is always important, anytime an illness strikes it is even more necessary to focus on healthy living. Naturally, dealing with such a powerful disease as cancer can knock the wind out of anyone’s sails. Despite the instinct to curl up and hide under the covers, studies suggest exercise can prevent depression that often accompanies a serious illness such as cancer.
So how can cancer patients best stay fit while fighting this dreadful disease? Here are some tips:
1. Take a long walk. Look at nature, experiencing the peaceful sounds of birds, pleasant aroma of fresh cut grass and the beauty that exists all around you. Bring some headphones and your favorite music along to truly enjoy the time alone. Bring a friend if you need to talk, laugh or just vent about the challenges you are facing.
2. Go for a swim. A pool helps you relax when you need some solitude or can get your heart rate going when you need a good cardiovascular workout. Do some laps, and then take some time just to enjoy the water.
3. Ride your bike. Hit the highway, pedal through the park or just cruise your neighborhood to get your workout in and take your mind off your troubles.
Fitness should always be a priority in our lives, even in times of physical illness. For those fighting cancer, it can make a world of difference.