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How does exercise help with bowel cancer?

What is Bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer develops in the inner lining of the large bowel, including the colon and rectum. Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women in Australia and is more common in people over the age of 50.

The main treatment for bowel cancer is surgery however, there are also a number of other treatment modalities used such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Research has shown that exercise is essential during and post any cancer treatment to assist in the management of side effects and improving quality of life.

How does exercise help with bowel cancer?

Emerging evidence indicates that exercise can have a significant impact on preventing physical decline, helping to manage fatigue, and promoting a better quality of life during treatment cycles. Exercise post-treatment has the ability to restore one’s livelihood and assist with returning to activities of daily living.  

What type of exercise is best for bowel cancer?

It is recommended that you combine multiple forms of exercise for bowel cancer and these include stretching, resistance and aerobic exercises.

Stretching exercises for all major muscle groups is very important to alleviate any muscle restriction that may have resulted from treatment with radiation, steroids, or surgery.

Resistance exercises can help to build, maintain, and restore muscles that are important for mobility and physical function. For example, sit to stands, wall push ups or step ups.   

Aerobic exercise is important as it allows you to maintain movement without becoming breathless and can help to decrease the side-effects of treatment. Walking, riding and swimming are great ways to exercise aerobically as they can begin with a low intensity and build up to a high intensity as aerobic capacity increases.

If you’d like to learn more about how exercise can help with cancer please don’t hesitate to contact us and make an appointment.

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