Friday, October 21, 2011

Introducing Liz Davies's expertise in body fitness for Cancer patients

I am honoured to have Liz Davies as our guest writer. Below is her informative post and I hope many of my readers will be beneifitted by her article.
EXERCISE FOR CANCER PATIENTS

When a person has been informed that they have a diagnosis of cancer, whatever type it may be, most people experience extreme fear because they think that there is a high probability of it decreasing their life expectancy. However, over the years, many advances have been made in the area of cancer treatment. The “Big C” is no longer the scary disease that was once considered to cause certain death. Aside from a treatment plan formulated by a doctor, a patient can increase their chances of survival with something as simple as engaging in an exercise plan that is approved by a doctor.

However, cancer patients are treated with various methods which include surgery and chemotherapy. Whatever treatment is prescribed, the effects of the disease itself and the treatments prescribed may elicit a host of side-effects and feelings, such as nausea and physical pain, which may cause a person to resist engaging in any sort of exercise program.

Granted, it may be hard for a person to engage in an exercise regimen but it has been proven to increase the chances of survival for a cancer patient. A person that engages in proper aerobic exercises, whether in a gym or at home, can expect an improvement in the body’s defense mechanism that works to overcome the cancer that is attacking the body.

A person that wills themselves to exercise will see an improvement in the following areas:

• Overall physical health: Exercise aids in weight reduction, improves muscle tone, strengthens the heart muscle, improves cholesterol and triglyceride levels to decrease plaque in arteries that lead to heart attacks and strokes, provides an increase of oxygen and nutrients to the unaffected healthy cells which work with the immune system to overcome the abnormal cells that are causing the cancer, improves general agility, and increases endurance.

• Mental health: Exercise can improve a person’s outlook on life. Studies have proven that there are four major neurochemicals released during exercise: Serotonin elevates mood and decreases depression; epinephrine levels increase and aids the body in dealing with stress; dopamine promotes better sleep patterns; and endorphins act as natural pain killers. This is why runners are said to experience a “runner’s high” after exercising. Laughter cannot be overlooked as an exercise because it takes voluntary and involuntary muscles to do so and releases serotonin which contributes to a person’s feeling of well-being.

Exercise is only one aspect of any treatment plan for cancer. It can improve overall physical and mental health; therefore, it can improve life expectancy and the quality of life for a patient. This is true for all types of cancers whether it is breast cancer or rare forms such as peritoneal mesothelioma.


Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She became particularly interested in ways cancer patients can cope with the side-effects of their treatment after her mother became an oncology nurse for lung cancer.