by Countryside Alliance

Studies show exercise during and after breast cancer treatment can aid your recovery, says CfR volunteer Denise Flett who is a breast clinical nurse specialist

It is clear that being physically active after treatment can positively influence the physical, psychological and social adverse impacts of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Studies show exercise during and after breast cancer treatment can help you regain and enhance your physical fitness and functioning; such aerobics capacity, strength and flexibility, as well as improving body composition, alleviating treatment related symptoms (including pain, fatigue, poor sleep), aiding physical and psychological resilience, and lifting your mood.

Exercise can also decrease and prevent some long-term and late effects of cancer treatment.

A recent systematic review of physical activity in breast cancer survivors (Spei et al, 2019) demonstrated recreational physical activity after breast cancer diagnosis was associated with lower all-cause and breast cancer mortality.

This finding probably reflects the favourable impact of physical activity on cardiovascular health and a possible favourable role on breast cancer survival.

The Casting for Recovery programme has long recognised the important element of fly casting in its support of breast cancer survivors, primarily during retreats but also as long-term sport that can be adopted by retreat participants.

Most basically, the physical movement of overhead arm extension that occurs when casting a fishing line replicates the core post-surgical recovery exercises prescribed after surgery and can also improve arm strength and hand grip.

Other health enhancing aspects of Casting for Recovery as an exercise intervention include; being outdoors in fresh air, experiencing nature at its most glorious and the positive social effects of a group- based exercise programme.

Spei., M. Samoli., E. Bravi., F. La Vecchia., C. Bamia., C. Benetou.,V. ( 2019) Physical activity in breast cancer survivors: A systematic review and meta-analysis on overall and breast cancer survival. Breast. Vol. 44 ; p. 144-152

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