Breast cancer treatments like chemotherapy make women gain weight, especially women going through menopause. In addition, daily physical activity diminishes during the treatment, which is another factor that causes unhealthy weight gain. But before you put on your running shoes and chalk out your workout routine, here are some fitness tips to keep in mind.
There are four reasons why exercise is important for survivors:
- Reduce weight
- Reduce tiredness
- Increase energy and stamina
- Lower the risk of depression
Regular exercise or physical activity cuts the risk of developing breast cancer. Therefore it is important to exercise or be physically active along with following the right diet and changing one’s lifestyle. This will help prevent a relapse of breast cancer.
Fitness Tips For Breast Cancer Survivors:
1) Consult your doctor: Every cancer survivor can undertake different levels of physical activity. It is important to know your strengths and weakness before taking on a workout routine.
2) Slow and steady: Do not go by workout routines that are recommended for physically fit individuals. Also, do not jump back to your workout routine or engage in the kind of physical activity you may have done before the cancer treatment. Try something as easy as walking for 15 minutes.
3) Bone health: Cancer treatment can affect your bones too. Therefore avoid doing exercises like jumping and twisting as it can fracture your bones. Take up exercises that are easy on the bones such as swimming. It not only reduces the risk of bone injury but also works your cardiovascular system.
4) Balance exercise: Cancer treatment can throw you off balance in the feet. The treatments can cause numbness or a tingling feeling in the feet or hands. A treadmill workout can make you trip. Instead try something like an exercise bicycle.
5) Shoulder impairment: Frozen shoulder or lack of mobility in the shoulder is a side effect of cancer treatment. Practice shoulder exercises that use full range of motion of the shoulder muscles, this will help prevent frozen shoulders.
6) Yoga: Certain yoga asanas or poses increase flexibility and work large muscle groups. Remember to practice under the supervision of an experienced yoga guru as the yoga poses can be adapted to cater to your needs and your body.
Breast cancer treatment can throw up various side effects – physical and psychological, but exercise is the saving grace to reduce these side effects. Exercise increases your body’s stamina and energy level to make you equipped to regain your life and also lowers depression in patients and survivors. Go easy and stay fit without cancer.