While fighting breast cancer can be a painful, exhausting, mentally draining experience a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Miami has found that its during cancer treatment that women are most in need of regular exercise.
According to the groups research women who exercise reduce depression, feel less tired throughout the day and improve on their quality of life in general, especially when regular exercise is combined with groups-based behavioral therapy.
Research has long suspected that regular exercise helps aid in cancer treatments however this is the first study to also show how that exercise can benefit other areas of stress management.
Speaking to WebMD researcher Jamie M. Stagl, MS notes:
“Women in the study benefited from even moderate activity. You don’t have to go to the gym every day, and this is probably not the time to train for a marathon. Just taking a brisk walk or even playing with your kids can boost endorphin levels and make you feel a lot better.”
Researchers at the University of Miami examined 240 recently diagnosed breast cancer patients who had underwent surgery four to 10 weeks before recruitment. Half of the women in the study took part in a 10 week, group-based behavioral program meant to reduce stress while the other half took single-day education sessions that were much less intensive.
The more time women spent engaged in physical activity the better they felt in terms of depression, stress and other mitigating effects of breast cancer treatment.
The full study which was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute will be revealed next week by the Society of Behavioral Medicine in New Orleans.