Pilates for cancer patients and survivors

Pilates for cancer patients and survivors

There is substantial evidence to show that higher levels of physical activity are linked to lowering the risks of developing certain types of cancer, including colon, breast, and endometrial cancer.  Additionally, limited research has shown a link between physical activity and a reduced risk for a number of other cancers.

But, what about the 14 million cancer survivors in the United States as well as the 1-2 million new diagnoses every year?  What are the benefits of physical activity and exercise for these people? In general, exercise is highly recommended for current cancer patients as well as cancer survivors, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Research has demonstrated that physical activity and exercise may have beneficial effects for several features of cancer survivorship including:

  • Weight gain
  • Quality of life
  • Cancer recurrence or progression
  • Prognosis

While there is still a lot of research that needs to be done in order to truly understand the relationship between physical activity and cancer, it’s becoming more and more evident that engaging in exercise has a number of biological effects on your body which could offer an explanation as to why it may contribute to a reduced risk of certain cancers.

How can Pilates help you?

Pilates has been steadily gaining acceptance as an accompanying treatment for cancer patients as well as for survivors. The physical as well as the psychological benefits of Pilates can help with the process of recovery as well as rehabilitation.

For those people with cancer, Pilates exercises can help to improve balance, maintain muscle strength, ease nausea from the drugs used for treatment, and decrease fatigue.

Cancer survivors often have to deal with muscle weakness, limited movement, and pain. The physiological benefits that come with doing Pilates include improvement in muscle strength and endurance, an increased range of motion, and the ability to better perform the activities of daily living that are so important to a person’s quality of life.

Cancer patients as well cancer survivors can also benefit psychologically from Pilates. Many have reported that they’ve experienced mood elevation, improved body awareness as well as a renewed focus on their wellness and a decreased dependence on others.

When Joseph Pilates developed Pilates, he wanted it to be a “complete coordination of the body, mind, and spirit”.  When you’re doing Pilates, you’re practicing each movement with total attention so that your body and mind “unite” to get the greatest benefit from the exercises. This is why Pilates is a great fit with “integrative oncology” which combines modern medicine with complementary therapies, including nutrition and exercise.

Improve the quality of your life

The beauty of Pilates is that it’s a safe and low-impact workout that targets your body as well as your mind. And, you don’t have to be a fitness expert to do Pilates. Pilates exercises can be modified to fit your strength and fitness levels.

At Propel Pilates, located in Rancho Bernardo, we offer a variety of classes for all skill levels and experience. Our expert instructors can design a custom workout if you’re a cancer survivor or currently going through treatment for cancer.

Come visit our San Diego Pilates studio and learn how Pilates can make a difference in the quality of your life.