The Best Types of Exercise for Mesothelioma Patients
Nicole Winch | December 3, 2019
Staying active before, during and after mesothelioma treatment is essential in keeping your body strong no matter your health condition. There are four exercising methods that could make great additions to your everyday lifestyle as a mesothelioma patient.
The Benefits of Exercise
Where you are at in your mesothelioma treatment process may play a role in what you’re physically capable of doing. Undergoing radiation, chemotherapy or surgery could take a toll on your body and limit your ability to exercise. Patients may find that after they regain some strength, exercising can be quite useful in the recovery process.
Before looking into what types of exercises are suitable for you, learn why exercising is beneficial as a mesothelioma patient. Exercising strengthens your muscles, improves your balance and upgrades your overall physical abilities. Studies also suggest that exercise reduces the risk of cancer recurring or developing.
With some recommendations from your doctor, you can begin a workout regime tailored to fit your needs and abilities.
4 Exercise Tips
Depending on the patient, the type of exercises they can perform will vary. However, you should know that with time and practice, the right physical activities could strengthen your body and help you live a healthier life.
Health experts suggest that strength, aerobics, stretching and balance are the four best types of exercises.
Focus on Your Muscles
Lifting weights is a great way to regain some of your muscle strength that may have weakened during your mesothelioma treatments. Chemotherapy, for example, is often linked to decreased muscle and bone strength. The drugs not only attack cancerous cells but also non-cancerous ones, leaving bone mass vulnerable. Additionally, the drugs can make you feel nauseous, causing you to skip meals and eat less muscle-helping food. Surgery can also impact your muscle strength, and the best way to rebuild your body’s power is by entering the weight room.
Barbells and dumbbells are both examples of equipment that can be a part of your basic strength exercise routines. Weights can vary in size, so start off small and work your way up. You will slowly be able to increase the amount of weight you use the more you work out.
Get Your Heart Rate Up
Engaging in light cardio, whether it’s walking or running, can increase your heart rate. Physical activities, like aerobics, can help you feel better overall and improve your body’s strength during or after your treatment process. For the most well-rounded workout strategy, you should alternate between strength exercises and aerobics. Rotating these two regimens can help with increasing your metabolism in addition to muscle strength.
Stretch It Out
A patient may lose the ability to be as active as they once were because of mesothelioma treatments. If that’s the case, they may become stiff and weak from a lack of movement. In order to improve and maintain your flexibility, there are stretches you can include in any of your exercise routines — or just as standalone activities. Stretching can strengthen your arms, legs and torso. It’s recommended that you stretch these various parts of your body about three to four times a week.
Find Your Balance
During mesothelioma treatment, patients may receive drugs that can make them unbalanced. Having poor balance may increase the risk of a serious injury, one which sets back your recovery from surgery or chemotherapy. Yoga and tai chi are balancing exercises that use simple movements and can improve your body’s range of motion. These balancing exercises include fun yoga poses such as the downward dog or cobra.
Bringing back the body’s natural balance not only has physical benefits but also psychological ones. Yoga and other similar exercises are connected to improved happiness and mental health.
- Efficacy of Exercise Interventions in Patients With Advanced Cancer: A Systematic ReviewNational Center for Biotechnology Information Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29738745. Accessed: 12/03/19.