Wednesday, January 25, 2012

20 Minutes a Day Leads to a Healthier Life

by David Haas

Many instances in life create stress. Stress causes the immune system to weaken, making you more susceptible to illness such as the cold or flu, among others. Stress is inevitable; everyone has it or experiences it at some point in time whether it is caused by planning your wedding, decorating your new home or figuring out whether or not to go back to work after your baby is born. Unfortunately, some individuals have stress that far exceeds how many people to invite to the reception. From chemotherapy for breast cancer to rare and painful mesothelioma treatment, people undergoing treatment for cancer often struggle with stress and emotional issues.

One thing that everyone with stress has in common is the fact that exercise helps to alleviate stress and in turn strengthens the immune system. For a cancer patient undergoing treatment, few things are as important as a strong immune system. In addition to strengthening the immune system, exercise is beneficial to cancer survivors because it improves their quality of life, which is a catalyst to successful cancer treatment.

The National Cancer Institute advocates physical fitness for cancer patients and survivors because of its ability to improve quality of life. Weight control is one thing, but the benefit a healthy lifestyle – that includes both a healthy diet and physical activity – lessens a person’s risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which make overcoming cancer more difficult .

Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – physical activity promotes well-being, which is something that many people have a difficult time achieving when facing cancer treatments. The benefits of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle make it easier for patients to deal with treatment for their cancer. In addition, once a person beats cancer he or she will be much healthier, much happier and able to more fully enjoy life.

The benefits of physical fitness are numerous; however, many people are too tired or too weak to work out regularly, which is why it is important to know that even minor physical activity is better than none. For example, a short walk around the neighborhood is something that takes little time and little effort. Walking to the mailbox is physical activity. Playing a game of catch in the front yard with the kids is physical activity. The key is to get up and move, even when you don’t feel like it.

Physical fitness has both physical benefits and emotional benefits. Whatever your reasons for wanting to exercise; it doesn’t matter. What’s important is becoming active and making your life a healthier one. A 20-minute walk every day is enough to keep you healthier and happier for the rest of your life.

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