- Question from Allison: What are some types of exercises I can do that are not too strenuous? I'm a 45-year-old breast cancer survivor!
- Answers - Lillian Nail With small amounts of exercise, she shouldn't be concerned about starting with truly minimal levels of activity. We might encourage a patient, for example, to walk for just 2 minutes, twice a day, as an initial starting point in the setting of severe fatigue. After a week, this could be increased to 4 or 5 minutes, if possible. Again, getting professional help is probably the best but we recognize that many people don't have access to this help or perhaps can't afford it. In this situation, get the advice of your physician and begin to exercise, if possible, even at very minimal levels.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. It may very well be that your insurance policy will cover a physical therapy consultation to help evaluate your physical activity level that would be appropriate for you. That setting realistic expectations of yourself can help minimize how discouraged you may feel as you start on this program.
- Russell Portenoy It's also important to recognize that just as physicians vary in their recognition of fatigue and their expertise in managing it, physical therapists vary in the way that they approach patients with cancer and their knowledge of exercise as a treatment for fatigue. It is important to talk to the physical therapist and try to identify a therapist who has some experience or interest in this area.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Ease Fatigue, Boost Energy featured Lillian Nail, Ph.D., R.N., Russel Portenoy, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about ways to manage fatigue and increase energy levels.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in March 2001.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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