Eating Psychology Coach
If I told you there is something you could do that doubles your chance of beating cancer, would you do it? You would?
What is it? Exercise!!
Much has been written about the benefits of exercise and we all know that we should be moving more. But what if you’ve been given a strong dose of chemotherapy and/or radiation, surely this is not the time to be talking about exercise?
Well, researchers at the Exercise Medicine Research Unit in Australia have been conducting small scale experiments on their patients in the Cancer Care Unit. Initially, they observed that many patients were too weak to fight the disease, but they found that those patients who did exercise regularly experienced less side effects of the drugs. They also found that exercising during treatment helped muscle mass loss, which is usually around 10-15%.
Here, it is interesting to note that Professor Robert Newton, director of the institute, reports that so far, there is no pharmaceutical intervention that can prevent muscle loss. During exercise, blood flow increases to the muscles and, in turn, produce chemicals throughout the body that destroy cancer cells. He found that the body appears to develop its own chemotherapy that kills the cancer cells. However, not all exercise is created equally.
Their oncologists and physiologists design carefully tailor-made exercise programmes for each individual according to their type of cancer diagnosis. Some did their exercise programmes on chemo days, others in between their chemo days. Some were allotted certain types of resistance training, whilst others were prescribed plyometric type of movement, otherwise known as impact training, or cardiovascular exercise. The patients reported that the more exercise they did, the better they felt. The results of one study in Denmark were so profound that it led to changes in the national guidelines for cancer treatment in the United States and Australia for prostate cancer treatment. This is incredible!
As it’s very important to know which exercise to prescribe for each cancer treatment, they strongly recommend seeking specialist medical advice from those who have expertise in prescribing exercise for cancer care. Exercise prescription has come a long way since I was worked in the industry.
In the meantime, why wait for a diagnosis? Prevention is better than cure and we can all do with moving a little more throughout the day. So, what are you waiting for? Spring is in the air, so now is a great time to get started by increasing the amount of walking you do. Whether you go for that walk in the woods, or along the beach, your body is building up its defence mechanisms, slowly but surely.
Karen Thorne, The Conscious Eater, Eating Psychology Coach and Rapid Transformational Therapist.