Post-Chemo Exercises to Get You Back in Fighting Form

You may look like the same person after treatment, but you definitely don't feel like before

Shutterstock

Many cancer patients receive powerful chemotherapy drugs that alter their blood counts and peripheral nerves, causing fatigue. Studies show that patients benefit from exercise and movement during treatment, but it’ss not always as easy to do as it was before chemo.

Even basic training routines can be a lot more difficult to do, depending on how active the patient was before the therapy, Karen Hock, a physical therapist at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Even walking can be a challenge for some. “Exercise will help you dial back to a physical level that’s appropriate for you.”

Most people begin to gradually regain energy 4-6 weeks after treatment. Their hair is growing back and they may look as they were before, but they are not. “This is what many patients say others don’t understand,” Hock says. “People expect you to be the same after chemo but you can’t – you’re still struggling with fatigue and concertation.”

Getting your flexibility back after surgery is important,” Hock says. Upper body posture is affected especially among breast cancer patients. Women submitted to mastectomy presented with asymmetries and modifications in posture, according to research. They had deficits in range of motion in the shoulders on the operated side.

Patients can do several exercises to get themselves back in fighting form. While they may appear simple, even something as “easy” as lifting your arms above your head can cause a lot of strain after cancer treatment.

Click here for 15 Post-Chemo Exercises to Get You Back in Fighting Form

More readings: 

Signs of Cancer that Could Be Mistaken for Something Else

Health Habits You Need to Break Before Turning 40

The 22 Worst Things You Can Do For Your Body

Most Recent

Why You Should Never Sleep in on the Weekends
Like most things that seem too good to be true, sleeping in on weekends can actually make you more tired
50 Things Every Woman Over 50 Should Know About Her Health
That changes that “someday” may occur are happening sooner than you think