This is a guest article and does not necessarily reflect the views and values of Impetus Digital.
For patients in remission from cancer or other serious illnesses, physical activity plays an important role in their recovery. However, many patients face obstacles and challenges that may make traditional exercise more difficult to incorporate into their recovery plan. In these instances, virtual exercise can be utilized to offer flexible and convenient options for a sustainable exercise routine.
With the world of virtual exercise rapidly evolving, here are some of the key ways in which these tools can support patients in remission.
Encourage physical activity in a low-risk environment
Many people who have been suffering from serious disease or illnesses for long periods of time may experience muscle deterioration, loss of balance and low self-esteem. Many common cancer treatments cause unfortunate side effects, and these can be challenging for patients to overcome, even when they are in remission. Physical activity is a key element to rebuilding the body so that the patient can return to daily activities safely.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can lower immunity, reduce muscle mass, cause a loss of balance, and increase the risk of osteoporosis. This puts patients at higher risk of catching common illnesses, falling, and sustaining other injuries – especially in their joints. It is vital then for patients to focus on rebuilding their immune system, and strength training to rebuild their muscles and reduce stress on their joints as they increase their activity levels. Patients should also practice balance-focused exercises, which will further condition their muscles and help them to regain their strength and stability.
However, it is unrealistic to expect all patients to be able to access a gym, and without proper instruction or any motivational tools, it’s easy for patients to neglect exercise at home. With online/virtual exercise, all the patient requires is a mobile phone, tablet or television with an internet connection and they have access to millions of instructional exercise videos, many of which come with innovative technologies and accessories to keep motivation high and results consistent.
With research suggesting cancer patients’ immunity may be lowered for up to 9 months post-treatment, the home is the safest place to begin exercising. By using online classes, patients can also pick and choose the level of intensity as well as the pace of the workout.
Boost mental health
For those who have experienced an alteration in their appearance as a result of their illness or treatment, such as loss of hair or mastectomy, they may feel anxious about returning to a public place such as a swimming pool or gym to work out. By exercising at home, these patients may feel more comfortable and relaxed, meaning they will achieve better results from their exercises.
Virtual exercise technologies such as the many websites, apps, video channels, and even VR headsets available today are a gentle and non-intimidating way for patients to rebuild their confidence whilst exercising. Patients can track their progress clearly in many of these tools, which will enhance their mental wellbeing and self-esteem.
At home, patients can gently rebuild their stamina and reduce the risk of overexerting themselves to save face, which could lead to injury. It is vital to also encourage a nutrient-rich diet, with plenty of sources of protein to aid muscle recovery, as well as drinking the recommended amount of water each day.
About the Author
Elizabeth Long graduated with a degree in English Language, and then travelled to different countries in order to expand her views, and experience different cultures. She now writes meaningful posts, designed to give readers helpful take-home points that they can act on in their own lives.
About Impetus Digital
Impetus Digital helps life science organizations virtualize their in-person meetings and events through our best-in-class InSite Touchpoints™ and InSite Events™ offerings, delivered with white-glove service and 360° coverage and care. Leveraging our large portfolio of cutting-edge online collaboration tools, clients can seamlessly gather insights from, and collaborate with, internal and external stakeholders. To find out more about Impetus Digital, visit our website, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter, or book a demo at meetwithimpetus.com