If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and have come out on the other side, you probably know that exercise greatly benefits breast cancer survivors. To reduce your risk of cancer recurrence, exercise is necessary. Today we will talk about one particular type of exercise that holds great advantages for cancer survivors.
After undergoing something as intense as breast cancer treatment, you may be looking for a way to become physically stronger and lead a healthy lifestyle post-treatment. You may also be looking for a way to reduce the stress and trauma you’ve undergone. While receiving psychiatric therapy is best if you are in the midst of depression, exercise can help alleviate some lighter forms of stress.
Different types of exercise can help cancer survivors strengthen their body. However, swimming in particular has some benefits for breast cancer survivors that other types of fitness routines do not. Below we outline the key features and advantages of swimming.
Swimming helps with weight control
Breast cancer survivors need to keep their weight at healthy levels because this disease could recur among overweight or obese women. If you go swimming regularly, you will be able to control your weight and lose more calories.
Some other benefits of swimming include lowering blood pressure, improving the good kind of cholesterol (HDL), and reducing the bad type of cholesterol (LDL).
You are working multiple muscle groups
When you are looking for strength training and getting your muscles stronger after cancer treatment, swimming may be your best bet. Along with cardio, swimming has built-in strength training that allows you to work out multiple muscle groups all at once.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends 30 minutes of cardio exercise five days per week and resistance training twice a week. The beauty of this is that swimming involves both cardio exercise and strength or resistance training.
Advantages of swimming for cancer survivors
Swimming is great for strengthening your muscles and especially your heart muscle. These are key for cancer survivors who may have weaker muscles after the chemotherapy and other treatments they’ve been through.
Getting plenty of exercise will also boost your appetite. Cancer patients may have felt too ill to eat much during treatment, so having a good appetite after treatment can help you become healthier. Swimming and exercise can also boost white blood cell production.
Also, swimming is one of the lowest impact form of strength training along with cardiovascular physical activity due to the water and its buoyancy. This is great if you are not feeling too strong after undergoing cancer treatment.
Swimming has mental health benefits
The stress of cancer treatment definitely has a toll on your mental health. However, one study has found that swimming helps fight against depression. Additionally, exercise brings greater blood flow to the brain during and after the fitness routine. The extra oxygen going straight to your brain can actually reduce anxiety.
Exercise also boosts your energy and reduces fatigue. The boost of energy can bring you more happiness and make you feel accomplished for meeting a swimming goal. If you swim in an outdoor pool this summer, you will get some much-needed vitamin D from the sun. Research has shown that there is a link between vitamin D and your overall mood.
Swimming can also be a great way to spend time with your family. Swimming will definitely help you alleviate stress. All of these steps can help with boosting your mental health.
To live a healthy lifestyle, you’ll want to exercise on a regular basis. Consider going for a swim for 30 minutes five times per week. Swimming will benefit the health of breast cancer survivors in key ways separate from other exercise regimes.