A common misconception about cancer is that you should rest and avoid exercise. However, being physically active proves to be incredibly beneficial for people diagnosed with cancer. In fact, it’s often prescribed as a vital part of cancer treatment!
Leigh Erin Connealy, MD is very clear on her stance about moving to get well: “Exercise isn’t just good for you; it is medicine for your body.” Studies have shown that people with breast cancer and follow regular exercise regimen experience half the relapse rates as those who do not exercise. Here are Dr. Connealy’s Top 3 Benefits of Exercise for Breast Cancer:
1. Exercise boosts immune function by circulating immune cells throughout your body, making them more powerful in locating and attacking cancer cells, bacteria, and viruses.
2. Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system, which increases the movement of immune cells and lymph fluid, bringing cancer-fighting nutrients into the cells and carrying cancer-causing toxins out. The lymph system is a vital circulatory system and the body’s primary immune defense and waste eliminator system; it is critical to managing the elimination of toxins from our body. Another way to achieve maximum stimulation is by Lymphatic Massage Therapy, which is offered at our center. Therapeutic applications assist the body’s detoxification as part of general health maintenance.
3. Exercise increases oxygen and nutrient delivery to cells (and your brain). Oxygen stimulates the release of growth factors and stem cells which promotes and accelerates healing. In an oxygen-rich environment, cancer cells cannot thrive.
In addition to exercise, we recommend taking advantage of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, a treatment for cancer and other diseases. Through breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room, lungs can gather up to three times more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. The blood will then carry the pure oxygen throughout the body to stimulate the release of growth factors and stem cells, which promote and accelerate intensive healing.
Dr. Connealy has an Anticancer Exercise Regimen included in her book, The Cancer Revolution that includes creative ways to move around without being overwhelmed. To learn more, keep an eye out for the next blog for the details!