Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beating Cancer by Staying Fit

This article was sent to me by David Haas.  He wanted me to post it, so that people could get an idea about how exercise can help people as they go through cancer treatments, and people with cancer in remission. 

Beating Cancer by Staying Fit

When it comes to fighting cancer, research studies clearly show that fitness is
directly related to survivorship. Staying active, even when you not feeling well may
improve the changes in appetite, sleep, mood, nausea and fatigue received from
chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Fitness also lowers the chances of your
cancer returning.

Exercise Helps Both Young and Elderly

Exercise affects every part of the body. It can change key structural proteins within
your muscles and tendons. In fact, work in the field of bioenergetics at Indiana’s Ball
State University has found that older individuals who remain active have better
aerobic capacity than those who are young and sedentary. Age has little to do with
the way the body responds to exercise. That’s good news for both the young and
elderly who might be going through treatment for mesothelioma or lung cancer
because muscle and lung capacity can quickly increase when you become more

Even Light Activity Improves Survival

Adding healthy activities to your day can be difficult when you’re feeling tired. You
know it’s important to take better care of yourself, but when daily life feels like a
battle, it’s difficult to find any motivation. Feeling emotionally drained doesn’t
encourage activity, yet exercise can make a major difference in the outcome of the
type of cancer you face.

A Nurses’ Health Study found that walking one to three hours per week resulted in a
reduced risk of death from breast cancer by 25 percent. Those who walked more,
between three and eight hours per week, had their chances decrease by 50 percent.
The study shows that even those who have undergone surgical intervention for
cancer can help improve their chance for survival. While you may having to start
slow, a short walk around the block every afternoon can greatly improve your odds
of winning the fight.

Staying Mentally Fit

Fitness is more than just exercise. It involves making lifestyle attitude adjustments
as well. If you approach fitness plans with the attitude that you are only exercising
because your doctor recommended it, you’ll quickly slip back into your old habits and
sedentary lifestyle. Fitness is as much a state of mind as it is activity, so staying fit
for your own reasons is extremely important to the outcome. Incorporating exercise
isn’t meant to make your life uncomfortable.

Try to shake things up now and then. Variety will help to prevent boredom and give
you something to look forward to. While walking the dog might be an essential every
day activity, it doesn’t have to be the only thing you do. Staying fit for yourself means

having fun. When you’re fighting cancer, not everything in your life has to be
stressful. Learn to appreciate the small things you often overlooked before. Take the
time to listen to the birds sing or watch the sun go down. Make every day special in
some way.

Staying Fit by Replacing Old Habits

When you’re trying to improve your odds for cancer survival or reoccurrence, even
small changes in your daily routine can amount to substantial differences. Just 30
minutes of moderate daily activity five times per week is enough to meet current
recommendations by the Cancer Society. Moderate activity involves many day-to-
day living activities you might not think of as exercise:

  • mowing the lawn
  • pulling weeds
  • gardening or yard maintenance
  • home repairs
  • scrubbing the bathtub or shower

Moderate activity doesn’t mean you have to break a sweat. Your heart rate should
increase slightly and you should breathe more heavily, but you should still be able to
carry on a conversation. While more intense activities such as digging, jumping rope,
swimming or playing a sport are all good ways to stay active, the type of cancer
you’re fighting and your current stamina and endurance levels will define the type of
activities you can realistically include in your life. While some people will have to
begin slowly by taking a gentle walk around the block, others with less aggressive
forms of cancer will be able to do a little more.

The important thing is to not allow your current condition to coax you into feeling
sorry for yourself. While you might not be able to do the things you could before your
diagnosis, when you focus on beating your cancer by staying fit, you open yourself
up to new possibilities you never had before.


  1. huh....he sent me the same article for my blog. i believe being strong is a good idea, cancer or not.

    1. maybe he's just trying to spread the word. no idea.

  2. If you have cancer and lift heavy-ass weights on the regular, eventually the cancer cells will be like "Fuck this, I'm out!" and fuck off. Pussies.

  3. I thought you guys would enjoy this video. I was lucky enough to train with Tom for my last meet. He has had cancer for several years and still competes as a bench press specialist because his knees are shot. Trains his ass off and deals with the fact he is sick. Very inspirational lifter with a great attitude/sense of humor.


  4. Well I stumbled on this and I do have cancer so I'm glad I did. I was sitting here feeling a little down today so I'm trying to find ways to help myself.