Exercise Helps Battle Effects of Cancer Treatments
Here are two studies that blow traditional theories of how to treat and recover from cancer out of the water.
Rather than rest, aerobic exercise and strength training have emerged as the keys to reducing the pain and fatigue that accompany the treatment of cancer.
A six-week study of 32 patients rehabilitating from high-dose chemotherapy concluded that those who walked on a treadmill exhibited both higher hemoglobin concentration and maximum physical performance.
And none of the 16 patients who walked regularly reported feeling fatigued during their daily activities as compared to 25 percent of those who remained sedentary.
A second study of 20 cancer patients who had recently undergone chemotherapy examined their responses to a program of aerobic exercise and strength and flexibility training.
After 10 weeks, average strength increased by 43 percent and the time patients were able to spend on the aerobic machines nearly doubled.
The benefits of exercise extended beyond physical measurements. When questioned about their quality of life, participants noted improvements in all psychological areas as well as a reduced perception of pain.
According to James Sallis, Ph.D., professor of psychology at San Diego State University, ''Patients and healthcare providers should be interested in adding physical activity to the treatment regimen as a means of improving quality of life.’’
Let’s hope they are.
Cancer, September 1997 ;
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, January 1998
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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