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  • Carol Michaels

Why Core Strength Is Important For Cancer Survivors

A weak core in a cancer survivor can lead to further health issues such as poor balance and poor posture. Balance issues can develop due to some types of chemotherapy, neuropathy, reconstructive surgery and sarcopenia. Cancer survivors need to be concerned with maintaining good balance. The core is one of the muscle groups that is needed to maintain good balance. Good balance can decrease the risk of falls. A large percentage of survivors have osteopenia or osteoporosis so maintaining or improving balance is very important fitness goal.

A strong core is also needed to improve posture. Poor posture can lead to various orthopedic problems and other health issues.

Cancer survivors should participate in Pilates classes especially designed for their particular limitations and goals. Pilates strengthens and stretches the body and is one of the best exercises for strengthening the core. Control, precision, body mechanics and breathing are emphasized. Pilates is a non-impact exercise that can help cancer survivors improve their health. Muscles are strengthened while breathing deeply. Form is emphasized and it is low repetition-quality over quantity. The workout can be modified to accommodate all fitness levels, ages, and issues. The deep breathing used in Pilates will facilitate lymph drainage. This exercise method is ideal for those with or at risk for lymphedema.

Some benefits of Pilates:

  • ​Improve range of motion

  • Increase flexibility with modifications for osteoporosis

  • Increase strength and endurance

  • Improves posture

  • Core strength improves as well as balance

  • Decrease stress and improve mood and self-confidence

  • Improve lymphatic drainage

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