Cancer diagnosis is, perhaps, one of the worst fears that most people dread. But with the advancement of cancer treatment procedures, the cancer prognosis rate continues to improve each year.
Following cancer treatment, most patients no longer concentrate on beating the diseases but how to adjust to everyday life. However, after a brave battle with cancer, you may be feeling battered and dispirited. But as valiant as you were while fighting the disease, aftermath care is equally vital.
But because you might be clueless about the post-cancer care you need, below are tips to improve your long-term health.
Generally, exercises are good for the body because of the following benefits:
- Boosts your mood and self-esteem
- Reduces pain
- Improves the quality of sleep
- Helps in weight management
- Increases strength and endurance
Furthermore, some studies have shown that exercises can reduce the chances of cancer recurring. And if there is one thing that recovered cancer patients what to avoid is a relapse. That said, cancer patients are encouraged to exercise.
However, the reality is that after your cancer treatment, your body hasn’t fully regained the energy levels that you used to have. But this shouldn’t bog you down. Working out doesn’t have to be difficult. Take small steps to keep you on track of an active life.
For a start, light exercises like climbing stairs and indoors jogging are physical activities worth including in your workout regimen. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), adult cancer survivors should exercise for at least 150 minutes a week. The duration can progressively be prolonged as your body regains strength.
Sometimes, your body may feel weak, fatigued, and undetermined to undertake exercises, and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Your body is a bit weak as it’s still fighting the lingering side effects of cancer treatment. In such times, take rest, which is also vital for your recovery.
Pro Tip: Before embarking on any exercise, it’s advisable you talk to your health provider.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Cancer itself and the treatment can wreak havoc on your health. That’s why it’s important to resume a balanced diet as soon as you can. But what’s the best combination of foods you should take?
According to the ACS, cancer survivors’ should undertake the following diet:
- Daily intake of 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables
- Proteins from fish, eggs, legumes, and nuts, which are low in saturated fats
- Healthy fats (including omega-3 fatty acids) found in fish and walnuts
- Healthy carbohydrates from grains, legumes, and fruits
Observing a healthy diet plays a critical role in weight management, given the fact you might have lost or gained weight during treatment. But to be on the safe side, talk to your doctor before starting your diet regimen. This is because some patients may result in using vitamin supplements, hurting them instead.
There isn’t going to be a stronger support system around you than yourself. And the best way to uplift yourself is by appreciating the little things of life. After chemotherapy, you might have lost hair. But keep telling yourself that you will regain it someday.
Take a nature walk. Do you see tiny buds growing on trees? That could be a reflection of your own health- that one day your hair will grow again. Jot things you are grateful for and focus your thoughts on positive things in your life.
Given the close connection between your mind and body, working on your mental health after cancer recovery can’t be overstated. While the truth is that cancer survivors encounter physical and emotional factors that hamper their psyche, working towards a healthy mental state improves the quality of life.
That said, devise the below stress-coping strategies to maintain a healthy state of mind:
- Meditation and mind-relaxing techniques like yoga and mindfulness training
- Undertake exercises
- Consider counseling
- Spend time with friends and family
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Take stress-relieving medications
- Have adequate sleep and rest
Stay Away From Tobacco
From the word go, tobacco wasn’t good for your health. And whether it contributed to your cancer or not, from now on, shelve the habit once and for all. Tobacco use increases the risk of several forms of cancer and could increase the likelihood of your cancer recurring.
While support groups aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, some people may find comfort and camaraderie in them. There is the motivation and relief that come with meeting and sharing ideas with people undergoing the same experience as you. Sometimes, you can even forge relationships that can last for a lifetime.
Consider reaching out to your family and friends when feeling overwhelmed. Your loved ones can offer emotional and physical support. They can encourage you when downbeat. They can also help you prepare meals and even suggest exercising together.
As a cancer survivor, you can’t wait to regain your healthy self. And has seen, the health recommendations aren’t any different from someone who wants to improve his life. Exercises, eating a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco, getting quality sleep, and maintaining a healthy weight are handy tips to help your body feel half your age and forget that you had cancer.
Good luck to a healthy post-recovery lifestyle.