Health & Wellness Blog

    

The Effects of Exercise on Recovering Breast Cancer Patients

For many years, women with breast cancer have generally been advised to rest after surgery or other treatment. This was to give the body a chance to heal without having to deal with the stresses of exercise. However new studies have suggested that in fact exercise is not only harmless, but can actually be incredibly beneficial to patients.

A steady level of exercise can help to reduce fatigue, promote circulation, and improve the general health of women after cancer treatments. It has even been noted that exercise can help to improve emotional distress as women engaging in more exercise than before their treatment have reported much lower levels of depression than women who have rested more.

Maximize Energy, Minimize Depression

One study from the University of Miami has found that when regular exercise is combined with behavioral therapy to reduce anxiety and stress, the result is much lower levels of depression and can actually improve energy levels.

Although not the first study to show the benefits of exercise to cancer patients, this study is unique in discovering the relationship between exercise and the true effectiveness of other therapies. The new study suggests that even a moderate amount of exercise, such as a long walk or Yoga practice, can significantly increase the benefits of stress reduction therapy.

More About the Study

The University of Miami study followed the progress of 240 women with breast cancer after they had surgery. The first half of the group of women was given intensive group behavioral therapy while the other half were given very little support in the form of therapy.

Women from the first group who had exercised more frequently between the surgery and the therapy were noted to have a considerably better response to the therapy than those who exercised very little. It was also noted that the same effect occurred in the women of the second group but to a lesser extent.

All of the women who increased their exercise levels were shown to suffer from less depression and had more energy overall. This research seems to suggest that exercise can make a difference to the emotional well-being of women facing breast cancer, as well as improving their energy levels and bodily functioning. When combined with therapy, the affects of exercise can make a big difference in recovering from cancer.

*Information on studies sourced from: www.webmd.com

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