You’ve probably heard the old saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” right? Well, it’s true! For oncology patients in particular, resistance training is an important way to maintain strength, balance, and quality of life during and beyond cancer treatments.
Benefits of Resistance Training
- Maintain functional STRENGTH to continue to do the activities you love
- Improve or maintain MUSCLE mass
- Improve or maintain BONE health
- Improve QUALITY OF LIFE
- Reduce MORTALITY risk by 33% [Hardee, et al, 2015]
Types of Resistance Training
- Bodyweight Training
- Weightlifting (free weights, machines, resistance bands, etc.)
- TRX / Suspension Training
*Pro tip: Choose a type of exercise you enjoy to make it fun and something you look forward to!
Resistance Training Guidelines
- 2-3 days per week
- Focus on major muscle groups
- Moderate Intensity
- 40-60% of maximal effort
- RPE 3-6
What is RPE, you ask? RPE, or Rate of Perceived Exertion, is a measure of how hard you feel you’re working. Use this Modified Borg Scale to guide your intensity during your workouts!
|10||VERY, VERY HARD|
Special Considerations for the Oncology Population
Take extra precaution AND work with a specialist if you know that you have:
- Bone Metastasis
- Abnormal sensation or dizziness/imbalance which may increase your fall risk!
Now you know some general guidelines for resistance training for cancer patients! By the way, these general guidelines apply to those without cancer as well! Always seek medical advice before starting a new exercise program and remember: All information shared on this blog is for educational purposes only. If you are thinking of starting an exercise program, consult with your physical therapist or physician to determine what is right for you!