“Cancer” is a very scary diagnosis. One that will change your life forever, but one that doesn’t have to define you. For cancer survivors at any stage of treatment and beyond, it's critical you know about one of the most researched and effective therapies- yet one with the least expensive cost and none of the harmful side effects... exercise.
An exercise "prescription" provides you a chance to participate fully as an important player on your healing team alongside your oncologists, surgeons and other clinical professionals.
Often cancer patients aren't counseled about the importance of exercise. There are at least three reasons why:
Fitness coaching isn't a covered expense in most health insurance systems.
Clinicians are busy focusing on their specialties, and cancer certified exercise professionals are not likely to be on staff or referred.
Large scale programs are not easy to find. For instance, there are only five American Cancer Society/American College of Sports Medicine Certified Cancer Trainers in Connecticut. I am honored to be one of them.
You might think, can't any personal trainer or exercise specialist help me as a cancer patient? Of course, there are many great trainers and coaches, along with physical therapists that can help you on your path. However, for this particular specialty, a trainer cannot even enter the program without having more than 500 hours of experience training older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.
American Cancer Society advocates that for many cancer patients, exercise is beneficial. ACS studies consistently shows these three benefits of exercise:
One of the most exciting recent developments has come out of Dr. Melinda Irwin's research at Yale University- finding that exercise can alleviate joint pain that many breast cancer survivors experience when taking aromatase inhibitors, a highly prescribed long term medication to decrease the chance of recurrence.
As in any exercise program, it's important to acknowledge there are risks involved, but the reality is that in most cases the benefits of exercise far exceed any risks for those with a cancer diagnosis that address their particular situation for safe programming.
Exercise might be the best medicine of all for helping you return to your normal (or even better!) physical and psychological health. If you, or a loved one is ready to use the power of exercise to help heal, check out: http://www.fittraining.net/#!moving-through-cancer/cuy0