Surgery, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy can leave one feeling worn out. Once done with treatments, an individual can think about being physically active. Getting more active will help them feel less tired. It is also a safe and fun way to improve their health and well-being. Being active helps all older healthy adults lead healthier lives, including older adult cancer survivors. Being active lets them meet and make friends and create a healthy social routine. They should talk to their health care team first and then get started today! As a fitness professional, encourage cancer survivors to meet with one of your qualified staff members and get them moving again.
Why should cancer survivors be active?
Physical activity can help them:
• feel less tired
• recover faster
• have more energy
• have better posture and balance
• manage their weight
• develop stronger muscles and bones
• relax and reduce stress
• improve their heart health
Research also suggests that physical activity may help to:
• reduce their risk of getting cancer again
• extend the life of some cancer survivors
How to get them started?
First they need to talk to their oncologist. Their doctor can tell them if they are ready to exercise, as well as how much, how often and how hard. They can also talk to their family doctor, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, registered dietitian, or certified fitness professional. These people understand how physical activity can help their life. These health care professionals can help get them started. They can work with the individual to find out what activities best meet their needs.
Fitness professionals can also prescreen the client before they start an activity. Prescreening helps to determine the most appropriate physical activity for the individual based on their current health status. The most important part of being physically active is to stay safe. They need to know what kind of exercises are safe to do, as some kinds of exercise or activities are not good for those who have had a certain type of cancer. Their past treatments and their health in general, affect how well they can do certain activities
As a fitness programmer, these are just a few examples of the kinds of activities you could offer for them?
What are other ways they can stay healthy?
Keeping healthy also means:
• Choosing a healthy balanced diet
• Stopping smoking
• Keeping their weight within a healthy limit
• Every little bit counts.
• Start with a few minutes each day.
• Try something they like
• Make sure they listen to their body and stay safe.
Follow these simple tips and their activity time will add up fast. They will feel the benefits sooner than you think.
For more information on physical activity and cancer survivors, visit the cancer tab at the Active Aging Canada website.
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