Wellness

Cancer can take a lot out of you.

Staying active and nourishing your body with healthy foods are both major components of wellness, but it's important to focus on more than just the physical. Wellness takes into account your lifestyle as a whole, encompassing your mental, emotional and spiritual health as well.

Patients undergoing cancer treatment are encouraged to eat enough food to maintain their weight — even if they’re overweight. But once treatment ends, the goal becomes getting as lean as possible without being underweight.

For many people, this requires that dietary adjustments be made. Instead of focusing on the quantity of calories needed to keep their weight stable during treatment, cancer survivors should focus more on the quality of the calories they’re eating after treatment.

Hitting the gym might be low on your priority list, if you’re fighting cancer. Yet exercise is just as important now as it ever was – maybe even more so.

In fact, regular physical activity has been shown to boost the odds of survival for people with some types of cancer," said Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., a professor in the Division of Cancer Etiology in City of Hope’s Department of Population Sciences. Read More

Being active is just as important after recovery. There’s evidence, Bernstein says, that among people with breast, colon, prostate and ovarian cancer, those who are physically active have a lower rate of cancer recurrence.

Moving your muscles can also lower the odds of developing many other illnesses, including diabetes, dementia, depression, heart disease and stroke, as well as other types of cancer.

It might take some time after treatment ends to regain the energy and strength you had before your illness, but don’t give up. By incorporating regular activity into your routine, you’ll boost the chances of living and thriving postcancer.