Reaping the Benefits: Exercise Programs Offer Physical and Social Benefits for Cancer Survivors

Group exercise programs are beneficial to survivors of cancer, and can offer motivation from peers to continue living a healthy lifestyle.
Besides from the physical aspect of the program that was beneficial, researchers also noted that the sense of community also promoted socialization – and sticking to their exercise plan. A post-program potluck brunch was hosted at the conclusion of the experience, and more than half of the participants attended.
“There’s accountability that brings you to the gym when you have friends expecting you to be there,” Ratterman explained. “People can encourage you and become accountability partners in the future, not just during the program.”
The program was hosted at a local YMCA, and even after the 12 weeks were over, 75 percent of the participants continued to go to the YMCA for exercise, which can have long-term benefits that reach far beyond the 12 weeks of the program.
“Promotion of peer support and education on healthy lifestyle behaviors by the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program may have an impact on long-term adherence to exercise among cancer survivors,” the study reads.

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