The Beneficial Impact of a 10-Minute Exercise Routine on Cancer Patients

The Beneficial Impact of a 10-Minute Exercise Routine on Cancer Patients

Regular exercise has always been recommended by medical professionals due to its beneficial impacts on the body. Working out does not only maintain your shape and toned body — the activity reduces risk factors and fights certain diseases. Moreover, exercising lessens stress hormones and lifts your mood by elevating endorphins. Engaging in physical activities must be prioritized to completely take advantage of its benefits. You can still do a bunch of exercises amidst a busy schedule. Workout routines do not necessarily have to be an hour-long — ten minutes of low or moderate movements are just as effective. Interestingly, those ten minutes are immensely advantageous to cancer patients.

After the diagnosis, physicians usually recommend complete rest for the cancer patient. For this reason, they are not advised to do strenuous work, especially during treatments. But exercise is an exception, mainly after a recent study provided data indicating that the activity increases cancer-destroying cells. The research was conducted by a team from the University of Turku in Finland. Lymphoma and breast cancer patients participated in the study that involved exercising. There were 28 participants — lymphoma patients aged 20 to 69 and 37 to 73-year-old people with breast cancer. To further prove the theory, they were asked to work out on a bicycle for ten minutes. The team took blood samples once before the exercise and twice after 10 minutes for comparison. They observed the number of cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells before and after the activity.

Fascinatingly, levels of cancer-killing cells went up. The immune system of breast cancer patients was also affected, as the number of white blood cells increased in the bloodstream. In addition, cells that process antigens, such as intermediate monocytes and B cells, multiplied as well. The team determined key roles in the process, mainly the intensity of the exercise. According to their observation, the harder the patient pedaled, the more cancer-destroying cells were received in the bloodstream. The number of immune cells also returned to normal thirty minutes after the bicycle stint.

Although it was only for 10 minutes, the bicycle stint still impacts the body positively. Cancer patients don’t have to opt for workout routines that might drain them due to exhaustion — low and moderate exercises would suffice. “Cancer treatments can make you tired and lower your motivation for exercise, which is why it is comforting to know that just ten minutes of cycling or walking to a supermarket, for example, can be enough to boost the body’s immune system. Further research in cancer patients is needed to study whether the immune cells are transported to the tumor after the exercise, where they could destroy cancer cells,” Research Assistant Tiia Koivula, University of Turku, explained. "This has been shown to happen in preclinical studies, but research in cancer patients is still rather incomplete.”

Researchers have yet to discover the destination of the immune cells that go into the bloodstream. A previous study discovered that cancer-destroying cells become more active after being transported to the tumor. The difference between the recent study and the earlier findings was that researchers from the University of Finland chose cancer patient participants rather than those who weren’t diagnosed with the illness. Their paper is published online in Scientific Reports. Further research is still in the works. And while it is still ongoing, this might be the right time to make some changes in your lifestyle.

Because of increasing immune cells, your body will have a better response to treatments. Before you choose your workout routine, it’s best to discuss the matter with your doctor. They’ll have better knowledge about the most suitable exercise for your body’s needs. Also, your choices will depend on the treatments you receive and your fitness level. As you become more physically active, you’ll notice the following impacts on your body:

  • Relieves treatment exhaustion
  • Keeps the heart and lungs healthy
  • Increased physical strength
  • Decreases anxiety and depression
  • Better quality of life
  • Quickens recovery time after lung cancer surgery

Start now to improve your quality of life. It’s best to take it slow from the start so your body won’t be shocked. Committing to a daily workout might be difficult, but you’ll soon get accustomed to it. Always remind yourself that it’s for your body and that you are keeping yourself alive. However, you should also recognize your limits when you’re physically tired. There’s a lot that can happen within 10 minutes of exercise.

Ergil Ermeno

I strive to learn and excel more in content creation, including blog writing, graphic design, social media posts, and video editing. Photography is one of those skills that I take an interest in. However, I do not use my photography skills for work as I treat the activity as my hobby. My usual subjects are my pets and loved ones. The lovely fur babies at home make photography even more fun, especially now that I am in a remote setup for work.

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