How Exercise Can Help Improve Fatigue

How does exercise help cancer patients?

It may be unclear to you why exercise can be helpful when you are experiencing difficulty with your daily tasks. Exercise can exhaust your energy, but regular consistent exercise keeps you fit and healthy, which makes it easier to complete daily tasks. Research indicates that exercise is  safe and beneficial to most people before, during, and after cancer treatment. Insufficient rest or sitting time can result in reduced range of motion, muscle weakness, and loss of body function.

Benefits of exercising

As a result of all the following benefits, you will be able to cope with the side effects of treatment.

  • Help your body and brain work better
  • Help lessen depression and anxiety
  • Might help you sleep better
  • Keep or improve your physical ability to get things done
  • Improve your muscle strength, bone health and range of motion
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Increase your appetite
  • Help you get to and maintain a healthy weight
  • May help with lymphoedema

What are the best exercises for cancer patients? 

Getting in shape does not need to be an intensive one-hour workout, it can be a very simple exercise program. The goal is to remain active as possible. It is not necessary to worry if you cannot cope with any exercise, but you can do some simple sitting exercises to help with muscle loss and weakness. In order to reduce the risk of injury, it is important to build up slowly and gradually increase the repetitions of each exercise over time. 

What exercise is good for cancer patients with fatigue?

Sitting Exercises

Leg exercise
Start by keeping both knees together with your feet on the floor. Straighten one leg out in front of you. Hold for one second, then slowly re-bend the leg until the foot is resting on the floor again. Repeat on the other leg. Do a few extensions with each leg.

Arm exercise
Hold your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder level, with your thumbs pointed towards the ceiling. Draw your elbows back, squeezing the shoulder blades together, until your upper arms align with the sides of your torso. Extend your arms back to the start position. Repeat a few times. 

2. Strength Exercises: The Sideways Leg Lift 
Rest your hands on the back of a chair. Raise your left leg to the side as far as you can, keeping your back and hips straight. Avoid tilting to the right. Return to the starting position. Now raise your right leg to the side as far as possible. Or try squats and lunges - you can hold onto a chair for balance.

3. Flexibility Exercises
Try this whenever your back or chest feels stiff:
Stand up straight and open your arms wide, tilt your head back and push your chest forwards. Take a deep breath in. Breathe out and as you do so nod your head to your chest, clasp your upper arm with the opposite hand as if hugging yourself and hunch your back forwards. Also try neck rotations and stretching, shoulder rolls and yoga.

4. Balance Exercises 
- Walking heel to toe.
- Single limb stance. Hold onto a chair and lift one leg up. Keep practicing until you can balance without a chair.
- Sideways walking. Step sideways in a slow and controlled manner, moving one foot to the side first.


For more help visit - 'Benefits of Power Naps' 

Youtube - How exercise can reduce fatigue 

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