Kimberly M. Sbardella, RN, Carolinas Cancer Wellness Coordinator
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are almost 12 million cancer survivors in the United States today. Many of the treatments to fight cancer may cause side effects such as anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, nausea and extreme fatigue. Survivors can combat side effects by continuing to exercise during treatment and maintaining activity through all phases of recovery.
Aerobic activity has been proven to significantly increase stamina and energy levels of survivors during cancer treatment. Exercise produces endorphins that offer a mental “pick me up” while fighting the disease. This helps to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that physical activity may decrease the risk of cancer recurrence and is associated with a prolonged survival rate after diagnosis.
Just 10 minutes of exercise each day will produce health benefits for cancer survivors. To begin, we recommend you choose a fun activity, recruit an exercise buddy and get started. Always consult your oncologist before beginning an exercise program.
Through the support of 24 Hours of Booty, Levine Cancer Institute provides a comprehensive wellness program to assist in the fight against disease and to promote a healthy lifestyle. Carolinas Cancer Wellness Program is designed to provide cardiovascular and flexibility exercises, as well as strength training to enhance your overall approach to health. This free twelve-week program is open to all survivors including those currently in treatment, and is available at locations throughout the region.