19 Feb, 2018 @ 11:59
2 mins read

Walking Can Help You Reduce Your Hospital Readmission Rate for Cancer: Here’s How

walking heart health

Cancer is difficult to recover from. Aggressive forms of cancer like mesothelioma can make you feel fatigued all the time. It can be tempting to not think about your fitness levels, but this could be increasing the likelihood of a hospital readmission. And that makes surviving mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos,  and other forms of cancer extremely difficult.

But something as simple as a brisk walk every day totaling 150 minutes per week  or more can make a big difference. Here’s how it works.

Keeping the Immune System in Check

It’s known that nearly 600,000 Americans die from cancer every year. It’s also proven that exercise helps to reduce the risk of cancer and the risk of cancer coming back.

The truth is that not a lot is known about why this is the case. Studies are still ongoing. But one thing that is known is that it strengthens the immune system. Mild to moderate exercise is recommended because it keeps the body strong without taxing it.

And that’s essential for making sure that the body is able to withstand the strain put on it by any type of cancer.

What’s the Magic Number?

Now that you know the benefit of walking for reducing the risk of cancer resurfacing and sending you back to hospital, you need to know how much exercise you need.

It’s generally accepted that the exercise you undertake should be mild to moderate. You shouldn’t be going on long hikes. But there’s also no magic number on how much exercise you need every week.

As mentioned above, the American Cancer Society recommends 150 minutes every week. But other studies say that you should be performing at least 20-30 minutes of mild to moderate walking every day.

You should always talk to your doctor before taking on any form of exercise program.

Fitbits are Offering New Clinical Data

Important clinical data is coming from Fitbits. These fitness trackers monitor how many steps you take every single day. A recent study concluded that higher step counts correlated with lower hospital readmission rates. It’s now suggested that cancer patients wear something that can track their steps when they exercise.

Although there’s no magic number as to how much you should exercise, you should be able to figure out a ballpark figure with your doctor.

You’ll also be able to track how fatigued you feel and ultimately what the right level of exercise is for you. It’s going to differ for every cancer patient depending on the type of cancer and the stage their cancer has reached.

Last Word – What’s the Value of Tracking Your Exercise?

The reason why you should be tracking how much you exercise is to provide your doctor with meaningful data from your life. Paul Kraus the world’s longest surviving mesothelioma patient, attributes walking and exercise to helping him manage the awful disease. His site www.survivingmesothelioma.com offers a break down of many of the treatments he utilised alongside the exercise.

Research is currently being done on how exercise levels can influence how at risk patients are of being readmitted to hospital. Noticing when a patient needs to return to the hospital for additional treatment before something happens could save lives.

But as we said, this type of research is in its early stages and there’s no specific data on how much you need to exercise or how it differs for specific cancers.

Speak to your doctor about the right exercise regime for you!

Staff Reporter

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