Exercise Program Benefits Cancer Patients At Fredericksburg Oncology Practice

Patients Report Increased Energy, Flexibility, Focus
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A gentle fitness program at Fredericksburg Oncology is improving the lives of cancer patients, echoing research findings on the possible physical and mental benefits of exercising with cancer, noted Dr. Frederick C. Tucker, Jr., who heads the practice.

Several Fredericksburg Oncology patients recently told the The Free Lance-Star newspaper that the exercise program has helped increase their energy, flexibility and mental focus. The article also noted the laughter and support taking place during the classes.

The program, led by CrossFit Spotsy trainers since May, features squats, lifts, bends, stretches and other movements that patients make while holding chair backs or leaning against walls for support.  The trainers also incorporated hand and feet flexes into the program because of the numbness some patients experience during chemotherapy.

Dr. Tucker, who has finished two Ironman triathlons in Kona, initiated the program after hearing patients describe their sedentary lifestyles. He asked Lisa Quinn, co-owner of Spotsy CrossFit, to develop a program that would adapt to the needs of patients undergoing treatment.

"It has become clear that deconditioning is a serious problem for cancer patients. Decreased activity means decreased quality of life, and contributes to other complications of treatment," Dr. Tucker said. "Regular exercise, scaled to each patient's ability, maintains strength and flexibility, and participation in the exercise class has become another source of emotional and social support as well."

Research on exercise during cancer care is not conclusive, but does indicate that fitness efforts may offer benefits. For example, researchers at the University of Mexico recently reviewed 56 trials involving cancer patients. Compared with patients in a control group, those who exercised improved their health-related quality of life, physical functioning, social functioning and energy.

Fredericksburg Oncology specializes in providing high quality treatment for the medical and emotional needs of cancer patients. The practice also provides local access to national clinical trials. It is located at 1500 Dixon Street, Suite 203
Fredericksburg, VA 22401. For information call 540.368.0500 or visit fredericksburgoncology.com.