A guest post on fitness and cancer

First things first, I was approached by a lovely woman a while ago about sharing an article of hers with my reader base. I think it’s great information and considering that almost every knows someone who is struggling or has struggled with the big C-word, it’s really pertinent. I think most people know I’m a pretty huge fan of alternative therapies or combination therapies, and showing the benefit of fitness in helping with cancer? Oh, I’m so excited.

Melanie is currently a Master’s student with a passion that stems from her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis. She often highlights the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness.  To read more from Melanie, visit her blog for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.

Fitness and Cancer – A Brief Overview

As many health experts know, cancer can be a very difficult disease to grapple with. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that cancer can make an individual feel helpless and subsequently fall prey to a variety of negative emotions such as apathy and depression. Additionally, cancer can be a very expensive condition to treat, thereby precluding sufferers from spending money on things that they desire. Finally, cancer can have a very adverse effect on one’s health and increase one’s susceptibility to other debilitating conditions. Despite the health challenges cancer can create, however, there are a variety of things individuals struggling with the condition can do to walk in greater health. One of these things is exercise. View the three types of exercise listed below and decide which type of workout and fitness level is most appropriate for you or for someone you know. 

Light Exercise Recommendation 


Light workouts are a good form of exercise for individuals who are not very physically fit or have been advised by a doctor to avoid intense activity. One great light exercise cancer patients can greatly benefit from is breathing exercises. These exercises involve inhaling and exhaling slowly. Some of the benefits that result from breathing exercises include improved blood flow and circulation, reduced fatigue, ability to do self-care, and improved lung function. Breathing exercises can be especially beneficial for individuals struggling with mesothelioma or other lung-related cancers, in which case a lung may be removed. With simple breathing exercises, mesothelioma patients can take in more oxygen and improve respiratory function.     

Moderate Exercise Recommendation 


Moderate exercises are a great tool for individuals who have at least some experience exercising as well as the cardiovascular stamina necessary to complete such workouts. With moderate exercise, individuals will notice a quickening of breath yet will be able to carry on a conversation. One great form of moderate exercise includes yoga. In short, yoga is a form of exercise that maximizes the individual’s mental and physical potential through stretching and controlled breathing mechanisms. Some of the benefits that result from doing yoga include decreased cortisol (stress hormone) levels, improved physical functioning, decreased fatigue, improved flexibility, better quality sleep, management of psychosocial and physical distress of treatments, and decreased pain. In many places, cancer centers offer yoga for individuals struggling with the condition. 

Advanced Exercise Recommendation 

Advanced exercises are a great form of physical activity for individuals who have attained a formidable level of fitness. This type of exercise is often advisable for cancer patients who are entering the later stages of their recovery. Some signs that one is engaging in advanced exercises include deep and rapid breathing, an inability to sing, and the development of sweat after several minutes. 


One great type of advanced exercise is weight training. Generally, weight training involves lifting weights of varying sizes for the purpose of toning muscles and/or increasing cardiovascular strength. Some of the benefits of weight training include improved cardiovascular system, improved muscle strength, and feeling more energized. As you increase your amount of resistance and increase your volume of activity, the American Cancer Society states that you will experience increased benefits.   


Although cancer can be a difficult condition to grapple with, adopting healthy practices such as exercise can make dealing with the disease easier. One of the great things about using physical activity to generate greater wellness while recovering from cancer is that there are a plethora of activities one can engage in. In so doing, the cancer patient is likely to begin living a much more powerful and productive life. 

I hope you enjoyed the article! 

Have you ever had a cancer scare yourself or known someone who has?

What are your thoughts on alternative therapies?




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