Exercise and Illness

                                                  The Benefits of Exercise for Terminal Illness

                                                                        by Melanie Bowen

If you are suffering from a chronic or terminal illness, you could notice significant and wonderful results from exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Although a doctor’s care can greatly improve your quality of life, traditional treatments can have negative effects on your overall health. Prescription medications can come with a myriad of detrimental side effects, such as fatigue, changes in mood, weight gain, and more. A healthy lifestyle, combined with the right medication, can increase your life expectancy and improve your emotional state. 

Patients suffering from Mesothelioma greatly benefit from physical activity, provided that it doesn’t put too much stress on your lungs and your body. Since you have limited lung function, you may not be able to take up a rigorous sport like running. Walking, light strength training, or yoga might be a better choice for you. You should ask your health care professional for their advice concerning this matter. If you have to use an oxygen tank, you may think that you are limited to your home, but getting out of bed and stretching or even walking around the house can help prevent bedsores or blood clots. You should consult your doctor, who could recommend what you have the strength to handle or prescribe physical therapy. Physical activity can help increase your appetite, ease aching joints, and do wonders for your emotional state.

Exercise can significantly help Rheumatoid arthritis patients as well. Before you take on an exercise program, you should check with your rheumatologist to make sure you are physically fit to participate in certain activities. A great place to start when looking into starting an exercise program is the People With Arthritis Can Exercise (PACE). Gentle physical activities, like stretching, Tai Chi, and light strength training exercises can maintain your bone and muscle strength and can provide pain relief. 

Physical activity can help a great deal in managing Lupus. Fatigue is a very common symptom that Lupus patients suffer from, and exercise, no matter how rigorous, can make a big difference in your energy level! Exercise can also help alleviate the depression that often comes with the constant pain and joint stiffness that result from this chronic disease. Exercises that you can try include flexibility exercises (like yoga), cardiovascular exercise (like bicycling), and weight lifting (which can really help your joint health). Remember to talk to your doctor first so that he/she can make proper recommendations.

Don’t let the diagnosis of a chronic illness stop you from pursuing physical activity. It can truly improve your quality of life and make you a stronger person, physically and emotionally!


“Melanie Bowen is an awareness advocate for natural health and holistic therapies for cancer patients. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of different nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those with illness in her efforts to increase attentiveness and responsiveness on like topics” — Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

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