Friday, March 22, 2013

Guest post-Running with Cancer Creating a Healthier, Happier, and Longer Life

By Melanie Bowen

Cancer remains one of the most devastating illnesses that countless millions are forced to struggle with every single day.  From skin cancer due to sun exposure, to mesothelioma from asbestos exposure, everyone should understand the proper steps to reduce their risk of developing all types of cancer. Also, knowing some of the alternative steps that can be taken to improve their overall health if they have been diagnosed with cancer or are currently in remission are helpful.  This includes running, one form of physical activity that is now closely looked at as one step to help prevent cancer.

Everyone, no matter their age, should be engaging in some sort of physical activity unless their health makes it absolutely impossible.  No matter their injuries or illnesses, a unique and customized workout regime can be created that will work with anyone’s level of fitness as well as their schedule.  While this will change slightly for each individual, the basic goal should be at least 30 minutes of moderate to strenuous physical activity per day.  This is the level that has been set for many of the studies that have been carried out by the National Institute of Cancer.

Running remains one great option for this physical activity and it may provide cancer patients or those that are at risk of developing cancer, an improvement in the quality and length of their life.  First, running will put the body at its peak physical fitness in order to take on many of the stresses that the patient will undergo when developing cancer or throughout the treatments.  From chemotherapy to a full surgery, those that have a healthy cardiovascular system from running regularly will be better suited to deal with these conditions.

Along with some of the physical changes that take place, running also has an exceptionally powerful impact on one’s emotions throughout this process.  Running produces tremendous amounts of endorphins, a hormone that is closely related to feelings of happiness, comfort, and overall contentment.  Cancer treatments can often take a very large toll on one’s emotions, and running provides just one more coping mechanism for the patient.

For those that are at a high risk of developing cancer or have recently been diagnosed, it is important to speak with their oncologist or primary healthcare provider about physical fitness.  By creating the habit of running throughout the week, patients might develop exactly what is needed for a longer and happier life.

Thanks to Melanie Bowen for this great post!

Check out more of Melanie's work here.

No comments:

Post a Comment