Exercise is Medicine


cropped-20140504_090836.jpgI suspect we all know exercise is good for us but it does sometimes take quite a bit of effort to get out there and do some! Apparently the older you get, the harder it becomes (I can confirm this is true!).  I did write about this in 2014 (Exercise – it’s a free prescription).  In fact, my blog  was actually created to document my return to fitness and good health 12 months ago!

I was prompted to write this blog after discovering a piece of advice for NET Cancer patients, specifically those with carcinoid syndrome. The advice is one of those catchy ‘single letter’ lists called the “5 E’s” of things to avoid – one of which is ‘Exercise’.  Clearly ‘Exercise’ needs putting into some context as everybody needs to do some even if it’s only a walk to the shops or some gardening.

There is a lot to be said for cancer patients to do some form of exercise and I know from my own experience, and from some really good on-line evidence, that it does have excellent medicinal value. For example, it can keep your weight in check, makes you stronger and keeps you feeling youthful (mind over matter is also a good thing!). Can exercise can make you a happier person? I think so. Last year, my wife and I committed to an 84 mile trek along Hadrian’s Wall in North England and we spent 3-4 months preparing. I was very thankful to her for continuously dragging my butt out of bed and into the forest close-by.  During this period, we both felt less stressed out, less anxious, we slept better and we were generally happier.  I suspect there is some scientific evidence about why this happens i.e. exercise releases ‘happy chemicals’ into/interacting with your brain, mostly ‘Dopamine’ and ‘Endorphins’.

In my own case, I’m currently non-syndromic since major surgery and monthly injections of Lanreotide. I therefore suspect the risk of exercise causing me problems is pretty low. In any event, I’m unlikely to indulge in anything really strenuous!   I also know many NET patients who exercise frequently.   However, I know from reading on-line forums that many people suffer from varying degrees of carcinoid syndrome and I suspect the advice is directed to those who may be more at risk. That said, I still believe most people would benefit from some exercise and this is something their doctors might advise on.

Exercise safely people.  I’m off for a long walk 🙂

Thanks for reading

Ronny Allan

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