Fitness / Uncategorized

Fighting Cancer: The Benefits of Physical Exercise

Hey guys!

I have a special post for you all today!  Melanie e-mailed me a couple weeks back asking if she could write a guest post for Peaches and Peanuts.  She told me she was interested in writing about exercise and it’s benefit in prevention of cancer, as well as the importance of exercise while fighting cancer.  Cancer is an awful disease in any form that it may take, so I am more than happy to have Melanie share this article today, with hope that it may be interesting and/ or helpful to any of you out there.

A bit more about Melanie:

Melanie is currently a Master’s student with a passion that stems from her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis. She often highlights the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness.  To read more from Melanie, visit her blog for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.

The article is about the benefits of fitness during and after a diagnosis of any kind of cancer. The piece is segmented by varying degrees of level of activity (Light, Moderate, Intense).

I hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I did and will try to pass it on to anyone you know that may benefit.IMG_0265edit


Fighting Cancer: The Benefits of Physical Exercise

Numerous studies have suggested that exercise for those battling cancer can increase their quality of life and improve the path for long-term remission. From light breathing techniques during medical interventions to advanced exercises in recovery, physical activity will provide health benefits that can supply oxygen, remove toxins from the blood and improve the overall quality of life. For each phase of recovering from cancer, there are exercises that can improve your physical and emotional well-being.

Light Exercise: Stages of Medical Treatment

People who are experiencing the debilitating affects from aggressive medical interventions may use light exercises in the form of breathing to improve oxygen concentrations and lung function. For those who have lost lung tissue, such as in mesothelioma, taking slow, deep breaths that relax the chest muscles will increase air into the lungs and provide more energy for self-care. A slight rise in blood flow will also trigger the body to relax and decrease stress hormones that promote anxiety and interfere with sleep. Breathing techniques should lengthen the inhaling phase of a breath, and prolong the exhaling phase without causing dizziness, fatigue or lessen your ability to carry on a conversation.

Yoga: The Moderate Exercise for Cancer Recovery

During recovery from cancer-related surgical procedures, Yoga provides a wealth of benefits for the aspects of physical and emotional well being. The poses used in Yoga will restore flexibility and remove spasms from the joints. Focusing on breathing decreases the cortisol levels in the body that contribute to anxiety, depression and insomnia. The philosophy involved in the practice of Yoga has been shown in studies to prevent cancer by freeing the body from stress, improving muscle tone and restoring a calm and relaxed mind. After 10 minutes of performing a Yoga session, this moderate form of exercise may include light sweating and an increase in breathing that will not prevent you from the ability to carry on a conversation.

Weight Training: Reclaiming Your Strength with Advanced Exercise

As your body recovers from the effects of cancer treatment, you will eventually reach the physical capability to perform advanced exercise. Weight training is ideal for restoring the loss of muscle mass from inactivity and illness. For those who have lost muscle tissue from surgical procedures, such as prostate, abdomen or head and neck surgery, the benefits from resistance training can restore functional mobility as well as strength. As you continue to weight train, your heart will become stronger and increase your stamina. Start your weight training routine slowly and add repetitions and increase weight. As you build strong muscles and bone tissue, you will experience the energy, increased endurance and vitality.

Plan Your Exercise Strategies with Your Physician

It is recommended to consult your physician before attempting any exercise during cancer recovery. You and your doctor should design your plan of care and target your goals for health together. During your challenges of cancer surgery, recovery and remission, it is vital to include exercise to improve your quality of health and reduce the negative effects of cancer related treatment.


A huge thank you to Melanie for reaching out to me about a guest post and taking the time to put this article together!

If you have any other questions for Melanie, feel free to comment or shoot me an e-mail and I will happily pass them along!Image

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