by Matt Rhoney
The long journey from being diagnosed with cancer and going through the treatments is a life altering one. For a teenager who has been used to physical activity and boundless energy, the experience is one that can be filled with frustrating moments. If your teenager is recovering from cancer, physical activity and exercise in moderation can help speed up that recovery. The level and rate of activity will not be like during the pre-cancer days, but it should not be ruled out completely. Here are a few tips on keeping your teen healthy and active while undergoing cancer treatment.
Healthy Exercises for Cancer Patients
Several studies have found that regular exercise and physical activity helps cancer patients in fighting the cancer, and also helps to keep it away once they are healed. There is no doubt that rest is important and necessary however, research shows that if you are able to incorporate some form of regular physical activity that can be largely beneficial both to health and spirit.
Too much rest and very little exercise works against the body because it weakens the muscles and can lead to unhealthy weight gain or increased feelings of fatigue. Your child’s exercise routine should not be too strenuous so that they do not use up all their strength. Get the doctor and cancer team involved in planning physical activities that can be safe for your particular case. Exercise during and after treatment should be incorporated in a safe and responsible way, along with activities your teen already enjoys. Cancer should not be allowed to erode your child’s quality of life.
Paying Attention to a Healthy Diet
Diet is a major part of cancer treatment and is important to help fight the disease, and also to maintain the health of the patient. Nutrition is one of the major weapons to be used in this battle. However, one of the effects of cancer treatments is loss of appetite and weight loss. It is important to try to maintain a healthy weight during the treatment phase. Modern cancer care includes nutrition therapy that explains how to eat healthy. Encourage your teen to embrace healthy eating habits so that their body is in the right state to fight cancer.
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
It is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If your teen lived a sedentary lifestyle before being diagnosed with cancer, now is the best time to change that. Focus should also be on healthier eating habits. Here are a few general recommendations from the Mayo Clinic:
- Exercise regularly, but start slowly.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits – at least 2.5 cups of fruit and vegetables daily.
- Choose healthy fats.
- Eat healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes and fruit.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Cut down on alcohol.
- Quit smoking.
Although cancer is more common that we would like, it is possible to beat cancer. There are many survivors who can testify to that fact. Adopting a healthier lifestyle can give you the ammunition you need to fight one of the greatest battles of your life. Encourage your teenager to make these lifestyle changes. Most importantly, always stay positive and keep your spirits high, regardless of the circumstances.
Are you or your teen battling cancer? What tips can you share for staying healthy and active pre and post treatment?
Matt Rhoney is an avid reader on trending topics and a writer in his spare time. On the beautiful coast of North Carolina you will usually find him catching up on the latest news with locals or on the beach surfing, kayaking or paddle boarding. He loves to write pieces on health, fitness, and wellness, but often writes about families and safety.