Nutrition, Exercise, and Other Lifestyle Changes During Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Each woman's plan for exercising will be different, based on her particular situation. The type and stage of your cancer, your individual treatment regimen, and your fitness level are just some of the factors that will help determine your level of activity.
However, with the help of your healthcare provider, you can find some physical activities that are safe for you to do and that are something you enjoy. It may help to see an exercise specialist to find some activities that are at your fitness level. He or she can also help show you how to slowly increase your endurance.
Try keeping it simple at first, such as going for a walk or bike ride. It doesn't have to be anything that is highly intense; in fact, your healthcare provider may advise you to avoid high-intensity activities during your cancer treatment. This probably means avoiding marathons or scaling a mountain and doing something more along the lines of moderate aerobic exercise.
One of the primary complaints during cancer treatment is fatigue. If you are thinking you are just too tired to do any kind of exercise, it may be that exercise is exactly what you need. Fatigue is common during chemotherapy and radiation treatment, affecting up to 70 percent of cancer patients.
Fatigue is more than just being tired. It occurs when your body and brain feel tired, and it does not improve with rest. Some women with ovarian cancer may experience severe fatigue, which can significantly limit their activity.
However, exercise is important to help prevent muscles from weakening and to keep your body functioning properly. Research has shown that those who exercised regularly had 40 percent to 50 percent less fatigue than those who didn't have a regular exercise program. If fatigue is slowing you down, try to plan some physical activity at a time during the day when you feel the best -- even if it's just for 10 minutes.
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