Mesothelioma and Exercise
In a healthy individual, regular exercise can be beneficial for both physical and emotional well-being. However, for those with cancer, performing regular exercise can sometimes be difficult, despite being helpful to them.
Those diagnosed with mesothelioma often have decreased lung function. This can impair the individual’s ability to engage in and sustain gainful daily exercise. High impact activities such as running, rowing, tennis, or full court basketball are sometimes not advised due to the strain they would place on the patient’s lungs and heart.
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Light Exercise and Mesothelioma
However, this does not mean that mesothelioma patients can’t participate in other forms of exercise. Most oncologists agree that mesothelioma patients should partake in some form of physical activity. These suggested activities can include walking, easy bike rides, and short workouts with light weights for strength building. Flexibility training, such as yoga, can also be incorporated into a regular exercise regime. Yoga can improve breathing, posture, and muscle development. Its various positions and movements have been shown to increase strength and energy in sick individuals. This kind of energy is an essential part of the mesothelioma patient’s quality of life. Exercise of any kind should never be forced. Patients shouldn’t feel so winded that their breath cannot be recouped.
Exercise and Staging
The degree to which a mesothelioma patient exercises should coincide with their stage of cancer. In stages one and two, individuals will have more strength than those with stages three or four. Exercise is encouraged most in the early stages. Because patients can generally perform better both aerobically and strength wise, it is important for them to attempt to adhere to a formal program that does not strain them.
Exercise should be enjoyable, so it’s important that people work out in locations where they are comfortable, whether it be their home, a gym or health spa, or even outside in a community park. It is also important to work out at around the same time each day so that a routine is established; helping the exercise to become a part of their day, and the body adjusted to the schedule.
Patients should check with their oncologist prior to starting any sort of exercise routine to make sure they are healthy enough for exercise. Patients are encouraged to work with a spotter or partner, should they feel unable to catch their breath or need some other form of assistance. Those with mesothelioma have special needs and their own unique set of challenges which need to be fully understood by anyone who may be engaging in companion exercise with them. It’s crucial they be allowed to progress at their own pace and checks in with their oncologist at regular intervals.
Patients should keep their entire medical team informed of their progression. With challenging but controlled workouts, patients will feel an improvement in their overall health and emotional well-being; which will go a long way in how the body responds to cancer treatment.