Living with any type of cancer is challenging in so many ways. Mesothelioma is a particularly difficult type of cancer. It causes symptoms like chest pains, breathlessness, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Side effects of treatment can cause fatigue, weight gain, and nausea. Getting exercise may be the last thing on your mind if you are struggling with mesothelioma, but the truth is that it can make you feel better. There are several ways in which exercise—doctor approved, of course—can benefit you as a mesothelioma patient.
Battle Fatigue with Exercise
The cancer itself may leave you feeling tired, but more often treatments, especially chemotherapy can leave a mesothelioma patient feeling bone weary. The fatigue you may experience is something that does not get better with more rest, and it certainly will not motivate you to exercise. However, exercise is exactly what can put a dent in this kind of fatigue. Exercise has been shown to actually increase energy and reduce fatigue.
Reduce the Stress of Being Sick
Being sick is stressful, but being sick with terminal cancer can cause stress to skyrocket. Exercise has long been known to be a useful way to mitigate stress. Exercise helps to refocus the mind, take your thoughts away from your illness, and help you feel more positive about life in general. Simply being more fit, feeling better in your own body, will help you feel happier and less stressed.
Fight Anxiety and Depression
It is not unusual for the stress of being sick with mesothelioma to take deeper root and evolve into more serious mental health symptoms of anxiety and depression. Living with this condition is not easy and many people find themselves feeling anxious and depressed. Exercise has been proven to be able to reduce the symptoms of these mental health conditions and to help people feel happier.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Weight loss is a symptom of mesothelioma and treatments can also worsen this side effect by causing a decrease in appetite. Exercise is an excellent way to stimulate appetite. Along with a healthy diet, exercise can help you put pounds back on or maintain a healthy weight.
In addition to all these benefits of exercise, getting in some physical activity will improve your overall health. It will strengthen your muscles, improve cardiovascular fitness, and generally help your body function better. Being fitter means that your body may respond better to treatments and will suffer fewer or reduced side effects.
Exercise is a powerful weapon against many illnesses. It may not be a cure, but it can make the difference between feeling rotten and feeling better. It is important to go slow with exercise when you are sick and to engage in an exercise routine that is developed by a professional and in conjunction with your medical team, but getting started is so important to feeling better than you thought was possible while being sick.
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