Living with cancer blog

Exercise important for cancer survivors

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. June 22, 2010

I love to walk every day. I usually walk outside so that I have a chance get some fresh air and check to see new wildflowers that are growing along the road and just take in the beauty around me. As I was thinking about writing this blog about exercise, I wondered; why is exercise so important to me?

When I'm walking, my mind is free to think about anything. Sometimes I think about work, other times it's relationships, my plans for the coming week, and on and on. I realized that walking is my way of meditating and working through stress. When I return from my walk; I feel energized, relaxed and happy.

Adding a little exercise to your day can make a big difference. As a cancer survivor it's important to take care of your physical and emotional health. Research has shown that adding moderate exercise to your routine can actually improve your physical health, reduce stress and improve quality of life. You may want to talk with your doctor, physical therapist or exercise specialist to outline a plan that's safe (especially if currently receiving treatment) and enjoyable to you.

Some ideas on how to add physical activity to your daily routine:

  • Take a leisurely walk with your spouse, friend or neighbor.
  • Listen to music and do gentle stretches.
  • Look for classes in your community that offer gentle yoga, water aerobics, tai chi or dancing.
  • Ask for support from a friend, exercising together is more fun.
  • Set short-term goals at the beginning to get started. Don't worry so much about intensity; the idea is to keep active and stay motivated.

The key is to keep the activity simple and fun. Use this blog to share ideas on what has worked well for you.

With

Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

Follow on Twitter: @SherylNess1

Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.

19 Comments Posted

Jun. 22, 2010