Benefits of Yoga for Cancer Patients

Battling a chronic illness can be both physically and mentally challenging. It can be an overwhelming journey for you as well as your loved ones. Managing a chronic condition such as cancer can be tough, but is not impossible. Yoga is one such wellness approach that can help you manage cancer. In this article, we will see some benefits of yoga for cancer patients and survivors. 

1. Yoga May Help Lower fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common and frequently reported side effects of cancer treatments, reported by cancer patients and cancer survivors. A good number of studies have found that yoga can help reduce fatigue by producing invigorating effects on physical and mental energy [1].

2. Reduces Stress

Battling a life-threatening disease can take a toll on your physical, emotional and mental health. Stress becomes your constant companion when you have to go through something as challenging and unpredictable as cancer. However, yoga is found to be beneficial in dealing with stress effectively, and may also help with other aspects of cancer too [2]

3. May Improve Physical Functioning

All those hours you spend in the hospital or sick at home can make your body stiff and sore due to the lack of movement. It can interfere with daily activities and make normal tasks difficult to perform. Yoga can gently help you bring back the flexibility and make your body get used to activities again. This is backed by some studies which have found that regular yoga practice can improve functional well-being in both cancer patients and survivors [3].

4. Promotes Better Sleep

The physical and mental stress of fighting a chronic disease can disrupt your sleep cycle like nothing else, and lack of sleep can further deteriorate your health. Yoga can help you relax and make it easier for you to sleep at night. Studies have shown that yoga can help improve sleep quality, efficiency and even duration in cancer patients and survivors [4].

5. Lower Risk of Recurrence

Obesity is a risk factor for cancer and can also increase the risk of recurrence. Therefore, it is essential to manage weight [5]. Most people with cancer cannot do heavy workouts due to the amount of energy required for it. Yoga, in such cases, can be beneficial as it requires relatively less energy and can effectively help manage weight. It also has several other health benefits that can effectively lower the risk of recurrence. 

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