5 exercises every breast cancer patient must know

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can bring in whole lot of emotions, but what we can do to make the best out of that situation is adopt a healthy lifestyle. From your diet to exercise routine, everything needs to be tailor-made for your condition. Breast cancer surgery can take a toll on women’s bodies and here are some exercises that will help with faster recovery.

A 2020 study published by the National Cancer Institute has shown evidence that links physical activity with longer survival in women diagnosed with high-risk of breast cancer. It shows that women who participated in regular physical activity before their cancer diagnosis and after treatment were less likely to have their cancer come back or to die compared with those who were inactive.

Breast cancer
Exercise is important for breast cancer survivors!

Health Shots reached out to Dr Ramya Nair, Consultant Physiotherapist at Masina Hospital, to find out about exercises that will help in the recovery after a breast cancer surgery. She suggested 5 exercises that should be performed the day after a patient has gone through breast cancer surgery.

Exercises for faster recovery after breast cancer surgery:

1. Deep breathing exercises

Practicing deep breathing exercises allows you to restore movement in your chest in a slow and relaxed manner. To perform this exercise take a deep breath from the nose and hold for 10 seconds, then slowly exhale from the mouth. Do 10 reps of this exercise. You can also do this while lying down on the bed.

deep breathe
Deep breathing will help you recover after breast cancer surgery! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Wand exercise

The radiation therapy for breast cancer patients affects the movement of their shoulders. Wand exercise helps in increasing your shoulder flexibility and bringing it back to normal. To perform this exercise, you need to lie down on your back and hold the wand in both hands. Then lift it up, hold it for 5 seconds and slowly bring it down. Repeat this movement at least 10 times.

3. Elbow winging

Again, this exercise will help in the flexibility of your chest and shoulders which are the most affected areas after a breast cancer surgery. Lie down on your back and put your hands behind your head in a way that your elbows form the shape of wings. Then move your elbows up and down in a slow movement. Do 5 sets of each 1-2 minutes.

4. Shoulder blade squeeze

For this exercise, sit in a chair facing straight ahead without resting your back on the chair. Your arms should be at your side with your elbows slightly bent and palms facing downward. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together in the forward direction and then go back. Stay at each position for 5 seconds and then repeat. Deep breathing while holding this posture helps reduce the swelling after surgery.

chair stretching exercises
This exercise will help you get back movement in your shoulders! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Wall climbing

Stand facing the wall and place both your hands on the wall at shoulder level. Use your hands to climb up or slide as high as you can go until you feel a stretch. Hold the stretched position for 5-10 seconds and relax. Repeat this exercise 7-10 times.



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