Physical

physical

An important part of our everyday living is our physical health.

 

Click the boxes below to learn more about the benefits of exercising, getting the right nutrition and managing pain.

 

We provide links to relevant articles and helpful websites below to help you improve your physical well-being.

 

gesture__homeExercise is, of course, good for you. It helps build muscle, organ strength, and overall well-being. It can flood your system with endorphins which will truly make you feel better. On days that you are up for it, get outside and go for a run, bike ride, swim (water aerobics) or hike. It doesn’t matter how slow you go, just go.

With more energy, it’s really helpful to try yoga or tai chi exercises. If you’re constricted to a house or hospital, but can get out of bed, then you can practice walking – to the bathroom, around the room, or up and down stairs. See how many times you can do so each day.

What can you do if you’re sitting in a chair or lying in bed much of the day? Wiggle your toes, stretch your fingers, and bend your feet back and forth often. Practice taking deeper breaths when you can. Move your arms, shoulders, eyebrows, etc. Tense and then relax each muscle in your body, one at a time. Set your own pace and see if you can do better next time! Make a game of it and remember the slow tortoise! Here are resources to help you get started.

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gesture__why_we_are_hereIf you’re undergoing chemo, radiation or surgery, your body needs all the help it can get to repair itself. What foods and nutrients will help the most before, after and during metastatic cancer treatments?

What’s the latest on sugar, if it should be avoided and why? How can you prevent weight gain from fluid overload and prevent weight loss from nausea and lack of appetite? There are many books and experts out there.

The resources listed below have suggestions you should know. If eating is a problem, ask your nurse or doctor for a nutritionist at your cancer center. And keep asking and reading until you find what works best for you.

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gesture__what_you_can_doHow do you know what pain is bearable and what is too much? Pain is subjective and our own perceptions of pain can get in the way as we judge someone else’s pain. In general, the rule of thumb is “believe the patient about their pain.” To be more objective, patients can use a self-report rating system.

Rate pain on a scale of 0-10 in overall pain, intensity and frequency. Keep a pain journal to accurately record pain and how the medications helped or didn’t help. Do the same for side effects, such as constipation, sedation, nausea/vomiting and retaining urine.

Complementary behavioral therapies may help ease some kinds of pain. One trick is to blow through your mouth in short spurts during injections or short chemo treatments. Another is to use mind-imagery – during treatments, just talk with a partner about a favorite vacation, room in the house, etc. Counting backwards from five can help you endure a painful procedure.

Try using a “magic glove,” as a sort of self-hypnosis, to visualize turning down the pain. Or someone trained in therapeutic touch can move energy fields to reduce some of the pain. Know when to call your oncologist or oncology nurse. Ask them to teach you signs and symptoms. And don’t be shy when you need them. Further exploration of these ideas can be found on these links.

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