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As researchers conduct studies and reveal their findings, the link between exercise and cancer grows evident. The latest studies show that physical activities may prevent certain types of cancer. This is likely due to the natural management of certain body chemicals through exercise and activity.
Physical workouts manage various body chemical levels, including those of insulin, hormones, lipids and bile acid. When these chemicals are out of balance, they may encourage the development of gastric, pancreatic and other cancers.
Exercise keeps the heart rate down and improves lung functioning. As a result, workouts may prevent respiratory illnesses like mesothelioma and lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute says other studies have examined the correlation between exercise and cancer prevention. These studies have focused specifically on prostate, colon, breast and endometrial cancers.
While exercise may prevent the development of an original cancer, it may also reduce the recurrence of cancer after treatment. Exercise has been shown to improve the survival rates of active breast cancer survivors when compared with sedentary women. Studies also show a reduced risk of recurrence for colon cancer survivors.
Of course, exercise is not only about cancer prevention. For people currently undergoing cancer treatments, workouts are an effective way to manage side effects and hasten recovery. Although it can seem intimidating to some patients, exercise has huge benefits.
Increased serotonin levels are one of the most important advantages of exercise for cancer patients. Physical activity boosts self-esteem, builds confidence, improves outlook and enhances life. This can make all the difference during grueling treatment sessions.
Despite the physical energy required for workouts, exercise actually boosts energy levels while building strength and stamina. Regular workouts help patients battle fatigue, nausea and other symptoms associated with cancer treatments.
Cancer fitness programs are most helpful when they are designed to accommodate cancer type, treatment method, fitness level and personal preference. While exercise is not appropriate for people facing lung cancer surgery or mesothelioma treatment, most patients can handle moderate physical activity.
The American Cancer Society encourages doctors to discuss exercise with all their cancer patients. Since each case is different, patients should get heed their doctor’s instructions and get approval before working out. Unless they are already active, patients should take small steps toward their fitness goals. They can increase the intensity and duration of their workouts as they build their confidence and fitness levels.