A Strength Training Program For Cancer Survivors Part 2

Years ago I had a woman come in who had been given the green light to exercise after suffering from cancer. I told her we would start slowly and that eventually the workouts would be hard.  She told me, “John, I survived cancer.  I can do your workout.”  Boy was she right.   She got dramatically stronger in no time.   A client such as her, who starts from a weakened state, will have more upside potential for improvement.

A few years later she developed cancer again and survived.  It was of great help to face this second challenge with a stronger body.   I had another cancer-surviving client inform me that he believes the reason he survived his cancer is because he was strong. 
When suffering illness our recovery abilities are channeled to overcome that illness. Similarly, when we exercise our recovery abilities are used to rebuild tissue after the stress of exercise.  One can easily exceed those recovery abilities.  It is best not to do too much exercise.  How much exercise is enough?  You should start from the premise of not how much exercise you can withstand but what's the least amount that will produce positive results. That way you will be less likely to exceed your body's ability to recover.

Those who have had operations to excise the cancer need to avoid jarring movements that will stress the compromised connective tissue.  Many exercises are jarring - running, jumping, and thrashing about.  It is best to find a type of exercise that minimized that jarring.  At New Orleans Personal Trainers and Austin Personal Trainers we use smooth controlled movement that minimize the ballistic forces that can cause injuries.  We also will use medical rehab equipment that can be used by those in a delicate condition and also by those in great shape.   The weights can be varied as little as two pound increments, and the weight stacks go up to 1000 pounds.   The range of motion can be adjusted to as little as just a few degrees depending on the limitations of the client.   Regardless of your physical state we can help you safely find out just how much exercise you need to produce positive change.

Other cancer related blog entries