More evidence of the positive role that exercise plays in recovery from this review of a number of different studies that showed, whatever the methodology, regular physical activity “decreased the risk of cancer-related mortality and of all-cause mortality”.
Specifically, “exercise tended reliably to improve insulin levels, reduce inflammation, and increase populations of immune system cells”.
And no surprise to me, any activity, such as walking, is fine – no need for anything more vigorous.
Phys Ed: Cancer Survivors Who Exercise Live Longer – NYTimes.com.
A good interview with Gretchen Reynolds on fitness and exercise. Simple stuff:
- 20 minutes movement a day
- Focus on fitness, not weight
- Strenuous exercise not needed
- Stand more
- Go for a walk
The human body is a really excellent coach. If you listen to it, it will tell you if you’re going hard enough, if you’re going too hard. If it starts to hurt, then you back off. It should just feel good, because we really are built to move, and not moving is so unnatural. Just move, because it really can be so easy, and it really can change your life.
Gretchen Reynolds on ‘The First 20 Minutes’ – NYTimes.com.
Not surprising but confirms experience and common sense. Conclusion:
Physical activity has positive effects on physiology, body composition, physical functions, psychological outcomes, and quality of life in patients after treatment for breast cancer. When patients with cancer other than breast cancer were also included, physical activity was associated with reduced BMI and body weight, increased peak oxygen consumption and peak power output, and improved quality of life.
Physical activity for cancer survivors.
May have to try some more high intensity bursts to vary my exercise routine!
Phys Ed: How Interval Training Can Improve Health – NYTimes.com.
Not surprising, but good to have some studies. Personally, even just walking makes a big difference to me.
Exercise a Good Pick-Me-Up After Cancer Treatment – MedicineNet.
The scientific explanation of why exercise is good for health – essentially accelerated cleaning out of surplus, worn-out or malformed proteins and other cellular components.
Exercise and longevity: Worth all the sweat | The Economist.
Great animated lecture on the benefits of walking (sorry for the spoiler alert!). Works for me. Creative, fun and worth watching (10 min).
Good reminder as we go into the holiday season.
23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? – YouTube.
As always, studies lead to what factors were missing. It would be interesting to correlate these results to levels of physical activity; I am sure that patients who walked every day have fewer clots than patients who have a more sedentary lifestyle. And while I have no reason to doubt the data, the hospital is the worst place for physical activity given that one is in a small room; at home, just the basics of living require one to walk a bit more.
Cancer Outpatients at Greater Risk for Blood Clots – myOptumHealth.
An advocacy piece arguing for more formal cancer rehabilitation programs, rather than being referred to yoga etc. Quite frankly, I am more in favour of the yoga, tai chi, walking or other informal approaches to help people regain their health and energy, and not convinced that more formal programs will result in better outcomes. Of course, with certain cancers and cases, there may be needs for more formal physiotherapy etc, but this article almost reads as the expert knows best and I have more faith in people taking ownership of how to bounce back to the extent possible.
The dismissal of the concept of the new normal is unrealistic. Those of us who have serious cancers and extended recovery periods understand this as part of our reality. It may be minor or more significant in impact but it is there.
An article that provoked me somewhat!
Cancer rehab dramatically improves cancer care.
An interesting study showing how strenuous exercise can improve memory and cognitive health. Whether one gets the same benefits from non-strenuous exercise (e.g., walking) would also be interesting to note – I expect so, it is inactivity that is to be avoided.
How Exercise Benefits the Brain – NYTimes.com.