Walking Exercises with Lung Cancer
Last updated: September 2022
As lung cancer survivors it is important for us to exercise. I recently wrote an article for lungcancer.net on different ways to exercise at home and one of the topics that I touched on was walking. Walking is easy to do and does not have a financial price tag attached to it.
I feel that there are many benefits to walking such as fighting fatigue, helping with mental health, building muscle and weight control, and helping with sleep issues.
Four benefits to walking
The number one benefit to going on walks or walking for exercise is that it helps with cancer fatigue. I have had some degree of fatigue for the last 7 years from slight to severe. According to cancer.org “Fatigue is an extreme feeling of tiredness or lack of energy, often described as being exhausted. Fatigue is something that lasts even when a person seems to be getting enough sleep.” It is often said that the more you move or keep moving the better you will feel. I have found this to be true sometimes. I will mention that resting is also an important part of treatment.
The second benefit to walking is that it helps take your mind off of cancer-related frustrations from actual cancer itself to going to appointments to insurance/pharmacy issues. Once I felt well enough to start walking, I started out slowly and built up from there. You can walk in your neighborhood, go to a local park or find a nice walking trail.
I suggest taking your phone with you to take pictures of the landscapes and wildlife that you come across on your walks. Many cancer survivors find themselves having depressive episodes and having something to do to get the mind off of their cancer diagnosis is good for their mental health.
The third benefit to walking is that it helps build muscle or helps lose the unwanted pounds from things such as taking too many steroids or from the many different treatments that are available. I have found that thru many treatments I have gained quite a bit of weight and walking is helping get that number on the scale to be more to something that I desire.
The final benefit to walking is that it helps relieve unwanted energy and will help you sleep better at night. Lung cancer symptoms vary from fatigue to restlessness and walking helps with both! I started taking a sleep aid and found that I liked using walking for exercise better than taking another added prescription pill. We all know how many pills come with a cancer diagnosis.
My experience with exercise
In conclusion, in my experience, I have found that walking for exercise has benefited me in many ways. Although, going for walks is not always in the plan because of things such as rain or I’ve been too tired from work, I have found walking 1 -2 times a week has helped significantly. It is also an added bonus to take my furry friends along for a little canine exercise!
Happy Lung Cancer Awareness Month! What does self-advocacy mean to you?