7 Tips for Staying Active During Chemo
While going through chemo can feel frightening and overwhelming at times, there are ways to keep your body strong and as healthy as possible throughout the entire process. Studies have shown that exercising and remaining active while going through chemo is beneficial for the body. Knowing how to remain active as you complete each round of chemo is a way to ensure you are providing your body with everything it needs to properly recover. Choosing the Right Diet Eating right is fundamental whenever you are going through chemo. Eliminate sugary, starchy, and processed foods and instead opt for healthy sources of fat and protein. Eat whole foods and meats that are not fried or coated in ingredients you did not add yourself. Increase your intake of leafy greens, vegetables, and low-sugar fruits while snacking on nuts, seeds, and healthy cheese. Speak with your doctor to learn more about the best diet for you based on the type of cancer you are fighting and the chemotherapy treatment you are currently completing. Exercise Whenever You Feel Capable Exercising regularly is extremely important to keep your body in the best shape possible while completing rounds of chemotherapy. Walk at least 30 minutes a day to maintain your body's muscle mass while protecting your heart's health. Working out regularly is a great way to release natural endorphins and dopamine in the body, boosting your mood while alleviating the stress that is commonly associated with chemotherapy treatments. Consider workout solutions such as RightFit for an all-inclusive gym that provides the workout equipment and programs necessary for the best health possible. The Importance of Addressing Your Emotions Always address the emotions you are feeling while completing chemotherapy and new cancer treatments. Battling cancer is never easy, even when you have a great chance of overcoming it. Cancer and chemotherapy can lead to anxiety, increased stress, depression, and social isolation, which is why it is important to know how to properly address the emotions you feel throughout the process. Reach out to family members and loved ones who are willing to help you cope through the stressful times you are experiencing. Consider implementing regular meditation and relaxation techniques (such as breathing exercises) into your daily routine to boost your mood while maintaining the ability to stay calm and collected, even during your toughest moments. Ask for Emotional Support from Loved Ones Ask for emotional and moral support from the loved ones who mean the most to you in your life. Simply having friends and family members to call or visit you is a way to keep your spirits boosted while remaining motivated and committed to moving forward with your chemotherapy with a positive attitude. Join Chemo Support Groups Join both local and online chemotherapy support groups for additional support and communication from those who have experience with cancer and various chemo treatments. Even if you are unable to visit a local chemo group, joining online groups can provide a sense of community and togetherness while you complete your treatment. Online chemo support groups provide you with the opportunity to connect with others who have gone through similar treatments while making new connections that may last a lifetime. Use chemo support groups to vent, share your story, and learn from others while you continue with your own chemo treatment. Doctor's Permission Always work together with your oncologist and family doctor to ensure you are healthy enough to exercise and participate in everyday activities. Working alongside your doctor throughout your chemo is a way to feel more comfortable with and confident in your decisions when exercising and making appropriate changes to your current diet and lifestyle. Receiving your doctor's permission to exercise is a way to do so without feeling guilty or as if you are putting too much strain and stress on your body during tough times. Get Adequate Rest Getting enough rest each day and night is imperative when going through chemo. Ensure you sleep at least 7-9 hours each night. If you are unable to sleep through the night, take regular naps throughout the day to provide your body with the rest and relaxation is requires to properly heal and fight through your chemotherapy treatment. Having the willingness to remain active even during tough rounds of chemo is a way to push through while providing your body with the nutrients, exercise, and emotional support necessary. With the right amount of support, your doctor's permission, and the willpower to remain active and healthy, continue on living your life as normal as possible while completing your current round of chemotherapy.
Brittany Waddell is a contributing writer and media specialist for RightFit Personal Training. She often produces content for a variety of fitness blogs.