Continuing with my interview with Dean Somerset about cancer exercise and the fitness professional.
What are three exercises that fitness professions should not do with a client recovering from cancer?
#1 – Watch For Dizziness
The exercises can be the same as with someone who doesn’t have cancer. A big consideration is what might make them dizzy, as well as what kind of grip they need with the exercise. If they are doing large muscle group work that will cause their blood pressure to rise and fall rapidly, they may become dizzy, more so than a non-cancer patient, and the dizziness may be more severe and last longer, so be sure to build up to big muscle movements and intensities.
#2 – Look at Their Grip
For grip, when a cancer patient gets a systemic inflammation as a result of the treatments they are undergoing, they might get very swollen joints, especially in their fingers and hands. Gripping a dumbell,cable, or elastic band might be a big problem, so altering the grip might be necessary. I’ve had a great deal of success with wrapping a small hand towel around the handle to increase the diameter and to make it easier to grip without straining their hands too much.
#3 – Consider Balance
Another big consideration comes back to balance. As mentioned earlier, the chance of becoming dizzy can be greatly increased, and balance can be negatively altered as a result, as well as the fact that the nerves can be beaten up pretty badly as a result of chemo. Improving balance can be done, but it has to be measured carefully and progressed on days spaced far apart from their last treatment. Generally, if they have treatment on Monday, they shouldn’t do much intense or challenging work until the following Monday in order for them to recover from the most severe side effects of their treatments.
Before Dean and I wrap up this part of the interview –
Here is a video clip from The Ultimate Training Guide for Cancer Survivors:
Rick Kaselj, MS
P.S. – Other posts related to cancer and exercises are: