How Exercise Can Help You Cope With the Mental and Emotional Challenges of Cancer

Research has shown that exercise can help improve physical side effects from cancer and its treatment, including cancer-related fatigue. But exercise can also help people cope with the mental and emotional challenges that a cancer diagnosis can bring, including anxiety, depression, and thinking or memory problems.

In this podcast, Sheila Lahijani, MD, and cancer exercise specialist Sami Mansfield discuss how exercise can help people with cancer cope with mental and emotional challenges, the benefits of exercise, and their advice for getting started.

  • How can a cancer diagnosis impact a person’s mental and emotional well-being? [1:58]

  • What are some of the most common mental and emotional challenges that people with cancer face? [3:29]

  • What is considered “exercise,” and what are some of the benefits of regular movement during cancer? [4:56]

  • What happens in the body during exercise, and why is it helpful? [6:52]

  • What kinds of exercise can people with cancer do to cope with these challenges? Is there a set length of time for these exercises? [8:29]

  • What is your advice for people with cancer on getting started with exercise? Is there a “best type” of exercise? [11:15]

  • In addition to exercise, what else can people with cancer do to cope with some of the mental and emotional impacts of their diagnosis? [15:47]

  • Where can people go to learn more about this topic? [21:24]

Dr. Lahijani is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and is the medical director of the Stanford Cancer Center Psychosocial Oncology Program. She is also an advisory panelist on the 2022 Cancer.Net Editorial Board. Ms. Mansfield is the founder of Cancer Wellness for Life, an organization focused on developing oncology wellness and exercise resources for hospitals and health care organizations, pharmaceutical companies, nonprofits, and individuals impacted by cancer. She is also the director of oncology wellness for the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health.

The speakers of this podcast have no relevant relationships to disclose.

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