In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month we’d like to dedicate the blog post this month to all those affected by cancer.
Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer*. That is more than 360,000 new cancer cases in the UK every year, or nearly 1000 people every day!
The shocking news are usually followed by a quick action plan for treatment. There is no doubt that healthcare providers do their best to save lives and get rid of the disease as quickly and efficiently as possible but unfortunately, there is a limit to the support available and very often people are left to deal with the physical and psychological aftermath of cancer treatments on their own. This can mean that many people end up with unnecessary physical limitations and imbalances for many years. Those restrictions can be addressed, improved and often rid of completely by participating in movement classes such as Pilates and Yoga.
“Pilates has been amazing, as I can now lift my arms over my head and was able to go swimming with my kids at half term… It has improved my posture and feeling of strength in the rest of my body. Cancer is a disease that makes you feel as if you no longer have control of your health and body. But Pilates has helped me not only to recover from surgery but to give me back my sense of control and body confidence.” Emma Fortune, South-East London
Pilates and Yoga classes can help cancer patients in the following ways**:
Exercise has been proven to significantly reduce fatigue in cancer patients. Those who exercise regularly experience between 40 percent and 50 percent less fatigue that those patients that are inactive, according to research. It may be difficult to overcome the hurdle of fatigue to begin exercising, but once begun it makes a huge impact on reducing chronic and excessive tiredness.
Improve Mobility and Quality of Life
Cancer patients often experience a lot of pain, which can seriously impact mobility and overall quality of life. Movement classes can help by improving muscle mass, increasing flexibility and making it easier to get out and about to enjoy life and being around other people.
Physical activity is great for promoting appetite. Cancer patients often lose their appetites, usually as a side effect of the nausea and changes to taste and smell caused by chemotherapy. Engaging in exercise stimulates the appetite and helps cancer patients feel like eating more.
Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Living with cancer can cause mental health consequences as well as physical complications.Exercise and Meditation are proven mood boosters, that can also help by giving you a new purpose and a new challenge to focus on.
yoopod’s Pink Ribbon classes were designed for breast cancer patients, but they are safe and offer many benefits to people with (or recovering from) other types of cancer.
Cancer patients should speak to their medical team before starting any kind of movement training. Your doctor can tell you if there is a good reason not to start yet or to impose specific limitations on your workout. A physical therapist or a qualified movement teacher will be able to design a routine for you that takes your limitations into consideration.
*Cancer Research UK