Getting fit & being healthy go hand in hand

workout as though your life depended on it...because it does.Exercise is a word that makes many people cringe.

The idea of hitting the gym is not necessarily appealing to everyone. Some cite their lack of time as a reason for not including fitness into their everyday lives while others state their lack of motivation as the reason why they are not getting fit.

A little goes a long way

Fitness is something that is crucial for everyone to work into their lives. Doctors recommend that everyone get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to reduce their risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease. This amount of fitness also reduces a person’s risk of certain forms of cancer by as much as 40 percent.

Don’t let an illness become an excuse

Those that already have cancer — especially those with rare forms such as mesothelioma — might use their illness as an excuse not to exercise.

However, this is no excuse for not fitting in those 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Doctors recommend that cancer patients work out and exercise just as much as those that do not have cancer because the benefits of getting exercise with cancer are numerous. Cancer patients will benefit just as much, if not more, from this amount of fitness than everyone else.

A person with cancer that works out at least 21 minutes per day — 150 minutes broken down by each day of the week — can most definitely have a better quality of life than those patients who do not exercise each day or each week.

Quality of life is a major factor in the role of recovery for cancer patients.

Those patients with a better quality of life tend to be healthier, happier and have more desire to fight their cancer than those who do not have this feeling. While fitness won’t cure a person of cancer, it will make their recovery more likely and their treatments easier.

Exercise can ease chronic disease treatments

The side effects of cancer treatments are brutal on cancer patients.

Treatments often come with nausea, depression, fatigue, exhaustion, and vomiting. Patients who exercise throughout their treatment tend to have less severe side affects that those who do not exercise. While it is true that treatments for cancer are difficult on a person, there is always something a cancer patient can do to get fit.

Even if this means nothing more than opting for the stairs rather than the elevator or walking around the block a few times each morning.

The best part of fitness is that it doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. It can mean taking a swim, going on a bike ride or taking dance lessons. In fact, a fun Friday night of dancing is perfect exercise for a cancer patient. Not only will it be fun, it will also be healthy.

[Photo:CaseyLessard/Flickr]

About the Guest Author: David Haas is a cancer patient advocate and the Family Hospitality Coordinator for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. He also writes and researches for the betterment of these cancer patients. Also, check out his blog on Mesothelioma.com.
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