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Exercise

If you have been recently diagnosed with cancer or are undergoing treatment, it's important to take special care of yourself. Studies show that one of the best ways to do this is to stay physically active.

Contact Information

1704 23rd Avenue
Meridian, MS 39301
Call 601-485-5081
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Our stand-alone Cancer Center offers convenient parking and provides medical cancer therapy, radiation therapy and other treatments and resources in one easily accessible location.

Exercise

Exercise Reduces Fatigue | Proceed with Care | We Can Help


Exercise Reduces Fatigue

Moderate aerobic exercise, such as riding a stationary bicycle or taking a daily walk, coupled with the use of light weights for strength training, can enhance physical well-being and spur recovery.

Research has found no harmful effects on patients with cancer from moderate exercise and, in fact, has demonstrated that those who exercised regularly had 40% to 50% less fatigue, the primary complaint during treatment.

Engaging in regular exercise increases muscle strength, joint flexibility and general conditioning, all of which may be impaired by surgery and some therapies. Exercise is known to improve cardiovascular function and to protect bones. It also elevates mood, offering drug-free relief for the feelings of depression that may accompany a cancer diagnosis.

Finally, exercise helps control weight -- a crucial factor, as studies have shown that gaining weight during and after treatment raises the risk of a cancer recurrence, particularly for breast, colon and prostate cancers.



Proceed with Care

It is important to discuss with your doctor or physical therapist the type of exercise you are considering to ensure it will be safe.

Depending on fitness and comfort level, some people may want to start with a 10-minute walk around the block; others may find they can exercise for 20 minutes (or longer) right away. Your goal should be at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week or more. But be cautious: if you try to do too much, you may become discouraged and stop exercising altogether. On the other hand, if you were a regular at the gym before cancer, you may have to lower the intensity of workouts for a while.

Here are some additional suggestions:

  • If you don't have the energy to exercise a full half hour, break it up; try three 10-minute walks during the day.
  • Make exercise enjoyable; recruit a walking partner or listen to music with headphones while on a recumbent bike or treadmill.
  • Dress comfortably and drink plenty of water.
  • Warm up by swinging your arms or marching in place and cool down with gentle stretches.
  • Do some gardening or house cleaning – both provide physical workouts.
  • Consider yoga and tai chi; though not aerobic, they integrate movement and meditation and enhance wellness.
  • Look for programs designed for cancer patients. Some health clubs and hospitals offer exercise classes that address the challenges and needs of people with cancer.
  • If on radiation therapy, avoid swimming pools; they can expose you to bacteria that may cause infections and the chlorine may irritate radiated skin.
  • Listen to your body; don't exercise if you're not feeling well or running a fever.

We Can Help

Anderson Health and Fitness Center offers a special membership for our oncology patients that is valid for 12 weeks while undergoing treatment. Full membership privileges at Anderson Health & Fitness Center are provided, including cardiovascular, strength and condition, group exercise and use of the indoor track. Please call 601.553.6622 to learn more about this special membership. Approval from your physician is required.

Some information on this page is taken from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s website. For more information, visit http://www.nccn.org/patients/resources/life_with_cancer/exercise.aspx