YES! You can and should exercise if you are a cancer survivor!

Until recently, exercise was not a recommended option for cancer survivors during treatment. Not that much was known about how exercise would impact treatment.  In June of 2010, The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published a round table statement recommending exercise for cancer patients and survivors.  What a great recommendation that is.  Why?  Many cancer treatments adversely affect the same systems that are positively affected by exercise.  The immune system is enhanced by moderate exercise; many treatments suppress the immune system. Some treatments cause bone loss; exercise can help to build bone.  Fatigue is a major complaint among survivors, exercise can help to lessen the fatigue.

The bottom line: adding cardiovascular, resistance,  flexibility and/or mind-body workouts to your daily routine is advisable.  I’m not suggesting you run out and begin training for a triathlon, but you can go out and walk for 10 minutes, you can stretch for 15 minutes, you can do one set of light resistance for the major muscle groups.  Start slowly and build up.  Initially try for 3 days a week of 30 minutes.  And, no, you don’t have to do the 30 minutes all at once, if necessary, break up your work out into several sessions, maybe 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the evening.

So, take a deep breath, go outside and enjoy the beautiful fall weather!


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