Macmillan, a Cancer Support charity based and working in the UK today published its findings from a study into the benefits of exercise for recovering cancer patients and the results found that doing just 20 minutes a day exercise was enough to dramatically aid the recovery of cancer patients and help prevent other long term illnesses.
The current practice by many Doctors of prescribing rest to recovering patients needs to be scrapped and instead the 150 minutes per week of physical activity recommended by the Department of Health should be prescribed it claimed.
The report stated that “Long term, it is (exercise) an effective way to help recover physical function, manage fatigue, improve quality of life and mental health, and control body weight.”
The report also found that exercise reduces cancer treatment side effects such as swelling around the arms, fatigue, depression and anxiety.
Some of the other findings by the report, entitled Move Move included a drastic rise in survival for those doing the recommended 150 minutes per week of physical exercise.
Breast cancer patients who exercised were 40% more likely to survive the disease whilst prostate cancer victims increased their chances by 30%
For bowel cancer patients its even better news. By increasing their exercise tempo to moderate and increase the amount to around 1 hour a day and they double their survival rate.
Jane Maher, chief medical officer of Macmillan Cancer Support stated:
“The advice that I would have previously have given to one of my patients would have been to take it easy. This has now changed significantly because of the recognition that if physical exercise were a drug, it would be hitting the headlines.”
She also added “There really needs to be a cultural change, so that health professionals see physical activity as an integral part of cancer after care, not just an optional add-on.”
Whilst the UK’s Department of Health has for some time been recommending cancer patients should do 150 minutes of activity per week, the Macmillan Foundation found that less than half of GPs prescribed exercise to their recovering cancer patients.
If someone found a drug that doubled a patients chances of survival it would be front page news but because these findings are about exercise they are met with a certain amount of sceptism. Its just the health professionals trying to convince us yet again to do some exercise is how many receive these kinds of findings.
The fact is though that science hasn’t even scratched the surface when it comes to the physical benefits of exercise but the facts and data will tell you that those who do it live a longer healthier life than those that don’t.
So don’t wait until you are ill to start doing some sort of exercise, take action now and reap the benefits…. Click here to get started.