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The Value of Fitness After Breast Cancer

You may recall a study I posted last month about the power of exercise and the protective effect it has in lowering a women's risks of invasive breast cancer over time. The benefits exercise exerts on a patient's quality of life and fitness -- even after a bout with breast cancer -- are just as evident, according to new research.

Scientists first studied the effect of exercise on 16 breast cancer survivors, some of whom were placed on an aerobic and resistance training group fitness program. Patients participated in three 90-minute workout sessions lasting eight weeks while the rest were assigned to a control group. By the end, exercisers enjoyed better muscle functioning, strength, cardiovascular fitness and quality of life

The results of this newer study, comparing the health and fitness gains of 11 patients eight weeks after their last training sessions, were just as promising, again thanks to exercise. The most significant holdover effects patients retained: Better quality of life and muscle strength.

The real moral here, however, is to start exercising long before cancer. And, to achieve the most benefits from exercise, you must view it like a drug that must be prescribed precisely to do the most good.

If knowing how to get started is a problem for you, please review my beginner's exercise page, then start moving as soon as you can!

International Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol. 28, March 2007: 257-264

Yahoo News April 6, 2007