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Cancer patients hesitate to exercise despite proven health benefits

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Despite the obvious benefits of exercise, cancer patients are avoiding exercise. According to MacMillan Cancer Support (MCS), which launched a study conducted by YouGov Research, many patients avoid exercise for varying reasons, the top three of which are: worrying about being able to find a toilet (36%), feeling uncomfortable getting active in public (31%) and feeling uncomfortable in active wear or bathing suit (24%).

Group exercise therapy delivers benefits to patients with depression and low self-esteem that come with battling cancer, including physical scarring, drastic weight changes, or incontinence. MCS recommends that patients find an activity that they feel comfortable with and which continues to promote the benefits of being physically active.

The survey of 1,011 people in the U.K. living with cancer also revealed that a quarter of people (25%) living with cancer had not done any physical activity that raised their heart rate in the last seven days.

The benefits of being physically active enough to raise the heart rate include reducing the risk of dying from the disease, as well as lowering the chances of it coming back.

MCS recommends four top tips to help people affected by cancer get started and stay motivated:

  1. Set goals you can achieve and celebrate reaching them.
  2. Walk or cycle to the shops and take the stairs instead of the lift.
  3. Listen to your body and only do as much as you can. Something is always better than nothing.
  4. Get a friend or family member to join you.

MacMillan Cancer Support is one of the largest British charities providing specialist health care, information, and support to people suffering from cancer. MCS home page: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/


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