Cancer Care

The Importance of Exercise During Your Cancer Journey

It’s a proven fact: Physical exercise has tremendous benefits to both body and mind. Exercise has the power to reduce fatigue, increase energy levels and improve mood.

With proper instruction and pacing, people healing from cancer can enjoy many of the same health benefits. Research shows that exercise is safe and beneficial for most cancer patients and survivors. In fact, in most cases, it’s important to keep exercising during cancer treatment.

Benefits of exercise during cancer treatment

Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center has many wellness programs designed specifically for individuals healing from cancer. 

Research shows that physical exercise programs have tremendous power to promote health, function and quality of life with benefits including improved: 

  • Energy and endurance
  • Strength and flexibility
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Bone density
  • Immune response
  • Treatment tolerance
  • Body composition
  • Weight management
  • Sense of control
  • Self-image and mood
  • Sleep
  • Pain control

Finding an exercise plan right for you

It’s always best to consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. It’s the best way to ensure that exercise is safe, and find an appropriate plan that helps you avoid injuries and infection. 

And while you may be anxious to get back to the same fitness level as before cancer, it’s important to slow down and be patient. Pushing yourself beyond your limits could bring on injury and perhaps set your health back. 

Classes for survivors

Physical wellness classes offered through Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center and Harper’s Hope are tailored specifically for cancer survivors. We offer professionally-designed programs that are taught by certified instructors and licensed physical therapists. These gentle programs help patients exercise safely and effectively during and after cancer treatment.

Classes at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center include:

  • Aerobics: Incorporates aerobic dance and interval training to provide cardiovascular and general muscle-toning benefits
  • Meditation for Mind-Body Wellness: A method of focusing the mind, leading to greater self-awareness and a reduction in stress-related health issues
  • Pilates: Emphasizes core strength and stability
  • Strength Training: Gentle strengthening and endurance exercises to improve stamina and help speed the return to functional activities
  • Tai Chi: An art form also described as “meditation in motion” that focuses on a gentle flowing of low-impact movement
  • Yoga: Focuses on the restorative form of yoga designed to ease tense muscles and improve flexibility, stability and strength

No prior exercise experience is needed to benefit from these programs. All patients with a diagnosis of cancer are welcome and the cost is minimal. If, however, cost is a concern, financial assistance is available.

For class registration or more information about these exercise programs, call me at (402) 354-0847, or you can check our class schedule online. I’m happy to provide any specific information and you help choose the program that best meets your fitness and wellness goals.

About the Author

Wendy Teetor, PT, DPT, CPI, is a physical therapist and coordinator for the physical wellness programs at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. Her goal is to provide effective care focused on the unique needs of each patient. 

In Methodist’s professionally-designed wellness programs, licensed physical therapists teach patients to exercise safely and effectively during and after cancer treatment. Wendy also teaches weekly exercise classes and provides recommendations for patients based on their fitness goals.

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