exerciseA lot of people think because they are sick that they can’t do anything. That is not true.  Exercising will make you move, clear your mind and activate your entire body. I always say “give yourself a chance with easy exercises such as walking outside” it costs nothing but the benefits are priceless!

I have always been a walker and when they told me I had cancer I still walked almost every day. Sometimes I found it hard and didn’t want to go outside especially when it was raining. But I learned to love listening to the rain going through the trees, it was so peaceful. I have a sentence I always repeat to myself if I don’t feel like exercising “I have to have respect for my body and my mind”.


Regular Moderate Exercise Boosts Immunity

Doctors are aware that exercising helps patients get better. They should give a prescription for exercising with a trainer who has a written exercise plan for that patient. Give the patient evidence that exercise will help them and provide them with a place to work out with encouragement and follow up. Research has shown that having doctors write a prescription for exercise is one of the best ways to get people to start.

Most of the cancer centres offer exercise programs like yoga and Tai Chi. But I think that should be increased and have people organize walking groups and other similar activities. Unfortunately this costs money to research and improve equipment. I hope in the future that Anti Cancer Tools will help with this.

Moderate and consistent exercise helps protect you from catching colds and the flu. Studies show a decrease on being sick when people do moderate exercise and a link between exercise and a healthy immune system. After exercising the immune system responds with a temporary boost in the production of macrophages (the cells that attack bacteria). Immune cells circulate through the body more quickly and are better able to kill bacteria and viruses. Regular consistent exercise can lead to substantial benefits in the immune system health over the long-term. There are physiological changes in the immune system as a response to exercise.

“When moderate exercise is repeated on a near-daily basis there is a cumulative effect that leads to a long-term immune response. His research showed that those who walk at 70-75 percent of their VO2 Max for 40 minutes per day had half as many sick days due to colds or sore throats as those who don’t exercise.” Professor David Nieman, Dr. PH., of Appalachian State University

Patients who go through chemotherapy and who exercise actually have a better response to the chemotherapy. They are more likely to stick to the treatment and are less sick during it.

Too Much Exercise May Decrease Immunity

exercise1This research shows that more than 90 minutes of high-intensity endurance exercise can make an athlete susceptible to illness for up to 72 hours after the exercise session. This is important information for those who compete in longer events such as marathons or triathlons. Intense exercise seems to cause a temporary decrease in immune system function.

Research has shown that “the body produces certain hormones that temporarily lower immunity. Cortisol and adrenaline, known as the stress hormones, raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels and suppress the immune system. This effect has been linked to the increased susceptibility to infection in endurance athletes after extreme exercise.”

If you are fighting a disease you should be careful about exercising too intensely. Your immune system is already busy fighting your infection and adding stress could slow down your recovery. If you have mild cold symptoms and no fever, light or moderate exercise may help you feel better and actually boost your immune system. But intense exercise will only make things worse and can extend your illness.

“If you are training for ultra-endurance events, you should include enough rest and recovery days to allow your body (immune system) to recover. If you are feeling run-down or have other symptoms of overtraining syndrome –such as increased resting heart rate, slower recovery heart rate, irritability or general heaviness and fatigue — you may need to tone down your workouts as well.”

Other Tips to Prevent Illness:

Eat a well-balanced diet. The immune system depends on many vitamins and minerals for an optimal function. Put a rainbow of colour on your plate.

“A good rule is to eat 10-15 calories per pound of “desired body weight.” If your ideal weight is 170 lbs, then consume 1700-2550 calories a day (1700 for sedentary individuals and 2550 for extremely active types.)”

Avoid rapid weight loss. Low-calorie diets, long-term fasting and rapid weight loss have been shown to impair immune function. It is better if you want to lose weight to go slowly and research shows that if you lose too fast, you are more likely to gain it back. Go slowly and give your body the time to adapt.

Losing weight while training heavily is not good for the immune system. Your body will take more time to recuperate. Do everything with moderation on a regular basis.

Obtain adequate sleep. Lack of sleep can reduce your immune system from working properly making you susceptible to being sick. Sleep disruption has been linked to immune suppression and problems with controlling stress. Your body needs to sleep to regenerate.

Avoid over-training and chronic fatigue. Space out the time between intense workouts and race events as far as possible. Don’t push beyond what you’re capable of doing. Or you could slow down your recovery and will be more likely to catch an infection. Respect your body.

Wash your hands frequently and avoid putting your hands near your eyes, nose or mouth. Most bacteria and germs are spread from a surface to your hands then to your face, not by air. Wash your hands and especially your fingernails. This is the best prevention.

Get a flu shot. For some people it will help especially if you have a weakened immune system.

Drink more water. It is easy to overlook your thirst and become dehydrated. Make sure you consume 8 glasses a day. It helped me a lot to drink 10 glasses of water a day during my chemotherapy.

Continue a moderate exercise program. Try to maintain a moderate but consistent exercise routine.

Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol is not the solution to avoiding feeling anything. It can be dehydrating which in turn may decrease your resistance to bacteria. Drink with moderation and know your limits.

Get Adequate Rest and Recovery. Listen to your body. If you are not at your 100% respect your body. If you need to rest have a nap don’t push yourself too hard. If one day you walk only 15 minutes instead of 40 minutes tell yourself “it’s okay”. At least you did something to respect to your body. Resting is necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. Your recovery will be faster.

Clean your ‘shared spaces’. Wipe down before and after you use them to reduce the spread of germs. Like phones, keyboards, grocery store checkout pens and card readers, office equipment or any items touched by several people during the day. 

Gyms are like daycares for germs and indoor workouts at crowded gyms can increase your risk of picking up germs, fungus, the common winter cold and flu virus. Wipe down gym equipment handles and buttons before beginning your workout.

Continue a moderate exercise program. Try to maintain a 3-4 day a week moderate exercise program on a regular basis.

Reduce your Psychological Stress

Psychological stress can affect or lower your immune system and lead to an increase of cold and flu infections. There is clearly a physical benefit to moderate and regular exercise. It will lower your stress.

Psychological Stress Also Reduces Immunity

Physical stress increases the release of cortisol and adrenaline in your body. Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations like when you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury.

Psychological stress can also impair immunity and lead to an increase of cold and flu infections. There is clearly a physical benefit to moderate, regular exercise.

Moderate exercise will helps to avoid colds and other infections. It will clear your mind from problem, it is also a good way to meditate during that time.

Cautious: Indoor workouts at crowded gyms can increase you risk of picking up germs, fungus and the common winter cold and flu virus. This is more common in the winter when we often spend more time training indoors where it’s easier for germs to spread.

it is important to discuss them with your doctor. You may experience any of the following symptoms of stress.

Emotional symptoms of stress:

Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
Avoiding others

Physical symptoms of stress:

Low energy
Upset stomach, including diarrhea,constipation, and nausea
Aches, pains, and tense muscles
Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
Frequent colds and infections
Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
Clenched jaw and grinding teeth

Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

Constant worrying
Racing thoughts
Forgetfulness and disorganization
Inability to focus
Poor judgment
Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

Behavioral symptoms of stress include:

Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much
Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing

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