Everyone knows that exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy and fight off disease. Studies have shown that exercise is an excellent way to prevent cancer, but what about if you are already suffering from cancer? New research suggests that virtually all cancer patients should be exercising for a period of 2 1/2 hours per week instead of “taking it easy” as many medical professionals advise. The physical activity has been found to reduce the patients’ risk of dying in addition to minimizing the side effects of conventional treatment.
According to the American Cancer Society, exercise helps reduce the risk of numerous cancers including certain types of breast, colon, rectum, kidney, pancreas and esophagus. The Cancer Institute reports that over 60 international studies regarding the relationship between exercise and the development of breast cancer all indicate that women who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who are sedentary.
Get Moving for Better Health
“The advice that I would have previously given to one of my patients would have been to take it easy” ~ Jane Maher, chief medical officer of Macmillan Cancer Support
The report noted, that of two million cancer survivors in the United Kingdom, at least 1.6 million do not get enough moderate physical activity. This could be something as simple as a jog around the park. On a related note, walking alone is touted as being one of the best forms of physical activity, potentially reducing the risk of dying prematurely by 20 percent.
The Department of Health guidelines recommends that persons who have survived cancer take part in moderate physical activity for 150 minutes per week for best results.
The American College of Sports Medicine convened a panel of 13 research experts with knowledge in the fields of cancer, obesity, fitness and exercise training who all unequivocally stated that cancer patients and cancer survivors should stay as active as possible. While specific guidelines for the amount of exercise may need to be tailored to various things such as the type of cancer and the type of treatment, the overall opinion of the experts is that exercise is a useful tool both in rehabilitation from and prevention of cancer.
According to Dr. Rachel Ballard-Barbash of the National Cancer Institute, evidence is strong that those who participate in regular physical activity during cancer treatments will have improved quality of life