Gentle Exercise


gentle exerciseimage credit: Good Search

Energy = A body in motion stays in motion. During cancer treatment you’ll hear, “Stay active.” You may not feel like being active, and you may argue, “I can’t”, “I’m tired!” I hear you. Prior to cancer, I was active. During cancer, my oncologist would tell me to exercise. I’d go on short walks—ten minutes max. When I completed treatment, I was willing to push myself, but during treatment I was at the end of my rope, hanging on, tying a knot so I didn’t slip off. If this sounds like you, I suggest a real honest talk with your oncologist and yourself. If you’re “tired” —well, that’s part of the deal, isn’t it? But can you push it a bit without getting sick? Know your body. Respect your body. Sometimes that means moving it. Sometimes it means resting it. It’s a delicate balance.

If you’re not walking 20 minute walks, are you walking to the mailbox 1-2 times a day? Is a neighbor a few doors down whom you’d like to visit? Can that neighbor come get you and join you for a 10 minute walk? It’s not about being the athlete. I remember mopping the floor for the first time after treatment. I was so weak I couldn’t squeeze the water out of the mop sponge! So, I used my leg to brace the mop and was able to wring it a bit. My floor was sopping wet—but clean! At this point, exercise is more about circulating blood, counter swelling, and brightening moods. You may even sleep even more, which was my concern, because I was sleeping 19-21 hours a day. Indeed, I did sleep more when I exercised, but eventually, my strength allowed me to do more in my waking hours, and sleep like a champ.

Do some gentle stretching, and short walks. It’s like making a deposit of energy and strength into your health account. You can bank on it!

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