Healthy Habits in the Midst of Cancer

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

There are a million reasons why you won't feel like taking of yourself during cancer treatment. You've already got so much to deal with, you're tired and maybe even a little depressed, or maybe you just don't think you have the time.

But, friend, while all that's completely understandable, I promise that you won't regret the extra efforts you make to help your body heal through good habits.

I've compiled a short list of suggestions that helped me during my chemo and subsequent recovery after cancer. I thought I'd share in hopes that these might help you, too.

+ Your energy is obviously low during cancer treatment, but yoga and walking are all you need to prevent atrophy of muscle tone and endurance. My surgeon, when asked about my returning to the gym, simply said, “Just take a walk, that’s all you need right now. You can go to the gym later.”

+ In all transparency, I gained twenty pounds during treatment. In light of that, I recommend sticking to a diet similar to the Whole30. The recipes can actually be quite easy, such as a roasted veggie with a roasted meat. Often, I ate over-medium eggs with a slice of prosciutto and half an avocado for breakfast. Many people will want to bring you food, which is so kind and generous. But, often those kindly offered foods can include some pretty unhealthy items that will only help pack on the pounds AND be deficient in nutrients. Treat yourself occasionally, but also eat healthily. Enjoy some fruit, cheese, or dark chocolate rather than a piece of pie or cake.

+ One of my favorite apps for exercise during treatment was the Yoga Studio App, which has several different routine options. But, be sure to check with your physician before starting an exercise program.

+ YouTube also has several "yoga for cancer" videos, many led by cancer warriors or survivors.

+ Avoid alcohol during treatment. I know, it's a bummer. But, alcohol contributes to depression and sluggishness, which can throw off your resolve to exercise. I suggest ending your day with one of the new non-alcoholic cocktail products that are popping up on the market like Curious Elixir and Seedlip.

I hope these few suggestions can give you a little encouragement in your efforts to help your body fight back effectively during treatment. If you've got other suggestions you'd like to pass along, I'd love to hear them!

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