Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guest Post - Why Exercise When You Have Cancer

Image by: Julia Ordodi

Surprise! I have a guest blog today by David Haas. David is an advocate for cancer patients and wants to make a difference in their lives because cancer has devastated so many people in this world.

"The article attached, which I recently completed, is about the benefits of fitness and eating healthy during and after a diagnosis of any kind of cancer. Each different cancer has its limitations, but if one can keep a healthy body, they can have a better chance to overcome this awful disease."

Why Exercise When You Have Cancer?

When you are diagnosed with cancer, you know deep in your heart you’re going to be in a battle for your life. This can take a toll on your mental and emotional well being. It doesn’t help that cancer treatments often make you feel worse physically than the disease itself.

There are many different forms of cancer: breast, mesothelioma, prostate, etc. and all of them can devastate your life and make you feel hopeless. While exercise is not a cure for cancer, it can certainly help you cope better physically, mentally and emotionally. Sure, the last thing you want to do when you have cancer is strap on a pair of tennis shoes and go for a walk. However, exercise boosts energy levels and triggers the release of “feel good” hormones in the brain. When you get 30 minutes to an hour of moderate exercise most days of the week, it can help you regain lost energy and muscle mass you lose from having cancer and going through treatments.

Having increased energy levels will make it easier for you to get up and get those simple things done during the day. Think about it. If you’re curled up in the bed all day, how are you going to feed yourself, maintain your home or even take a warm shower? If you get up and get some exercise, you’ll feel more energized and getting these things done won’t seem so cumbersome. When you’re battling cancer, it’s not just the physical aspect you have to worry about. Your mental health is also at stake.

Cancer is a serious disease. Nobody knows this better than someone who is dealing with it. Feelings of depression and hopelessness are normal. However, you can’t let these negative emotions take control of your life.If you’re going to take cancer head on, you have got to believe you can beat it. The only way to do this is to change your attitude. The chemicals released in the brain during exercise can make you feel happier and improve your outlook on life.

Exercise also gives you an outlet to release those angry feelings you may have. Cancer is tough, but you're tougher. Get plenty of exercise so this disease doesn’t beat you down physically, mentally or emotionally. Go walking, dance, take a bike ride, lift weights, play tennis, Zumba, jump rope or kick a ball around the yard. Find some type of physical activity you love and do it!

Nobody knows what's going to happen in the end, but you can help yourself out as much as you can by making exercise a regular part of your life.

Thank you David for such a wonderful post!
David Haas may be reached for comments at