Below are a few surprising scenarios when exercise, contrary to what you might think, is beneficial during discomfort. This includes:
- Recovering from Surgery
- Exercise after minor surgery can be very helpful in both decreasing side effects and getting you back into your routine. Of course, be mindful of the level of intensity and avoid exercises that may stress a surgical incision, but the sooner you can get moving after surgery, the better.
- Cancer Patients
- Exercising during and after cancer treatment can help reduce your risk of dying from cancer; reduce your risk of cancer recurrence; boost energy; and minimize the side effects of conventional cancer treatment. A report by Macmillan Cancer Support notes that cancer patients and cancer survivors should exercise at least 2.5 hours a week, and cites an excerpt from the American College of Sports Medicine consensus statement on exercise guidelines for cancer survivors, which states:
- “Exercise is safe both during and after most types of cancer treatment. ..Patients are advised to avoid inactivity and return to normal daily activities as soon as possible after surgery, and during adjuvant cancer treatments.”
- Osteoarthritis or Joint Pain
- If you have joint pain, exercise is a must; it helps prevent and relieve joint pain through a number of mechanisms, including strengthening key supportive muscles, restoring flexibility, improving bone density, improving joint function and facilitating weight loss.
- The notion that exercise is detrimental to your joints is a misconception, as there is no evidence to support this belief. Inactivity promotes muscle weakness, joint contractures, and loss of range of motion, which can lead to more pain and loss of function, and even less activity.
- Chronic Pain
- Exercise can help with long-term pain relief for a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis, back and musculoskeletal pain. Furthermore, proper exercise will improve posture, improve range of motion, thus, helping treat underlying sources of pain as well as helping to prevent chronic back pain. Exercises that can be particularly helpful for chronic pain include stretching, resistance training, and swimming.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- If you have the lung disease COPD, exercise can help to improve your circulation, helping your body to use oxygen more efficiently. It may also help to strengthen your heart, improve your symptoms, and boost your energy levels so you can perform more daily activities without fatigue or losing your breath.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Diet is key for healing irritable bowel syndrome, however exercise can help improve IBS symptoms. It can lead to improvements in cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhea, with, 43% of exercisers showing a significant improvement in their symptoms.