Exercising proves beneficial for breast cancer patients experiencing these problems
We’ve all heard before that staying active has many benefits, both physical and mental. But being physically active is particularly important for breast cancer survivors, according to a new study, which revealed that staying active alleviates stress and benefits survivors psychologically, which improves their memory.
Researchers found that memory problems in breast cancer patients are actually linked to high levels of stress, and may not directly be related to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Survivors who have undergone cancer treatments go through many emotions that can cause stress.
“These women are frightened, stressed, fatigued, tapped out emotionally and have low self-confidence, which can be very mentally taxing and can lead to perceived memory problems,” said lead author Siobhan Phillips.
“We have noticed similar effects in our patients here at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital who are participating in the exercise classes offered through our Cancer Survivorship Center,” says Dr. Sigrun Hallmeyer, medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. “Patients often report improved energy, better sleep and overall improved cognitive function, including memory. It is reassuring that this study confirms these observations in a scientific way.”
The study found that breast cancer survivors that had higher level of physical activity – walking, jogging, biking or attending an exercise class – had less memory problems.
“Data like this will further empower us to recommend exercise and physical activity for our cancer patients,” adds Dr. Hallmeyer. “We are happy and fortunate to be able to support these activities in a safe and comfortable environment where patients feel supported.”
Here are five ways to sneak in a workout:
- Walk instead of taking the car whenever you can
- Take the long route to the office
- Walk the dog using a different route
- Choose stairs instead of the elevator
- Make housework a workout
By using these simple tricks, we are giving ourselves a moment to take a break from our stressful lives. At the same time, we are promoting being active.
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