I am very happy to share an article written by guest blogger David Haas. He is a cancer patient advocate and as a bonus, loves to rock climb. He wrote this excellent article on cancer patients and the benefits of exercise. Take it away David…
The Value of Diet and Exercise During Cancer Treatment
A diagnosis of cancer can be one of the most challenging events in many peoples’ lives. While it’s important to follow the advice of an oncologist or other healthcare professional, there are many steps that patients can take to improve their recovery time and quality of life.
Many types of cancer like mesothelioma and colon cancer respond well to a healthy diet. Many mesothelioma doctors can provide referrals to nutritionists who can help patients design a diet to meet their individual needs.
It’s essential for cancer patients to avoid processed foods. Many processed foods contain high levels of sodium, cholesterol, and processed sugars. These can impair the immune system, increasing recovery time. Consumption of foods with high levels of sodium can cause a rise in blood pressure levels, leading to an increased risk of stroke or heart attack.
It’s also important to avoid foods that contain excessive amounts of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. These sweeteners can cause problems with the body’s metabolism. Long-term intake of processed sugars can lead to diabetes, a serious metabolic disorder. Diabetes impacts all parts of the human body, ranging from the immune system to the nervous system. Many diabetics will experience longer recovery times and fatigue during chemotherapy.
Cancer patients should eat lean cuts of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Consumption of cheese should be limited due to the high sodium and cholesterol levels. In addition, a doctor may recommend a whole-food multivitamin or fish oil to provide additional nutrition.
Exercise can also be beneficial to many cancer patients. Yoga is a type of exercise that combines deep breathing exercises, meditation, and choreographed body movements. Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility and body tone. Since most yoga exercises are low impact, they are appropriate for older patients and people with reduced mobility. Yoga can also provide peace of mind for anyone undergoing cancer treatment therapy.
Swimming is also excellent for chemotherapy patients. Swimming provides an excellent cardiovascular workout without putting excessive stress on any individual part of the body. Many fitness trainers can provide customized exercises for individual patients.
Walking or bike riding can also be a great form of exercise for cancer patients. A 30-minute walk a day can help clear the mind, improve blood flow, and reduce stress. Reducing stress can help improve recovery times, improve mood, and increase one’s happiness.