CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- We talk a lot about the importance of exercise and that’s especially true at the Presbyterian Cancer Center where doctors are writing prescriptions for exercise.
The program is called "Strides to Strength" and cancer patients are given exercise prescriptions to help manage the side effects from treatment and reduce the risk of recurrence.
Exercise Physiologist Paul Downey said, "The primary thing we look at is reducing fatigue. There's been a lot of studies that really show that by getting out and exercising ideally for 150 minutes per week, it’s the kind of the goal that’s set for cancer survivors as well as the rest of us, is going to help with reducing fatigue and improving the quality of life."
Downey also says that he has noticed some of the cancer survivors that are about 10 to 20 years out from treatment are having a reduced risk of recurrence just by being active and exercising.
Sometimes getting to the gym can be a challenge because treatment can make patients not feel so great, but he says the exercise is benefitting them physically and mentally.
“They still know they are going to feel better and it feels like they also have more control on their whole treatment. Most of the time they go through things and they are told by the doctor what their decisions are going to be as far as getting radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery and this is one of those areas of their life that they can control. So, I guess it kind of helps with the mental attitude and those kinds of things too.
Each patient is given a customized exercise program based on their needs and physical capabilities.
Paul says they keep coming back because they support and inspire each other.
If you would like more information on the “Strides to Strength” program and the Presbyterian Cancer Center, CLICK HERE.