According to a recent survey by the Mayo Clinic, fatigue and low energy is a major concern of cancer patients. Whether it’s due to the disease itself, or the side effects of cancer treatment, tiredness is a problem that affects most cancer patients and survivors. Read on for several simple, natural ways to restore energy and stamina after chemo or other cancer therapies.
Balance is Crucial to Offset Cancer Fatigue
It might sound like an overstatement of the obvious, but balance really is key to healing the body after cancer treatments. Chemo and other therapies take a lot out of a person, and it’s important to allow the time to rebuild energy reserves. This often means planning ahead and actually scheduling time in the day for things like naps, gentle exercise, and other activities.
- Naps: Rest and sleep are crucial, but don’t wait until the day is almost past and exhaustion crashes down. It’s a good idea to plan at least one short nap or rest break earlier in the day, so it won’t interfere with nighttime sleep.
- Exercise: Although tiredness can make it difficult to stay motivated, exercise is critical in building up energy reserves and restoring balance to the body. Gentle exercise like walking the dog, swimming, Pilates or yoga can help rebuild strength and provide endorphins to keep moods uplifted and help with sleep, stress, and energy levels.
- Work and Activities: At least at first, it’s a good idea to moderate the amount of time spent on work or other activities – they’re important, but they should never be allowed to drain already low energy reserves past a healthy point.
Nutrition is Key After Chemotherapy
Healthy nutrition can make a huge difference in how cancer patients feel after treatment. Make sure to focus on eating natural, healthy whole foods. Fruits and vegetables are important, since they contain the vitamins and minerals the body needs to restore itself. Lean protein can also help to rebuild energy and vitality after treatment.
It’s vital to drink plenty of water, (non-caffeinated) herbal teas, and fruit and vegetable juices to flush toxins out of the body. A good guideline for fluids is to take body weight (in pounds) and divide it in half. That’s how many ounces of water (or other non-sugary, non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages) to drink daily – at a minimum! It’s been estimated that about 90% of headaches can be prevented by drinking more water – just think what an impact fluids can have on stress levels and the return to full health!
Mental and Emotional Well-Being for Cancer Patients
Keeping your mood high can make a phenomenal difference to physical energy levels and stamina. That’s why it’s important for cancer patients to keep doing the things they love.