The Benefits of Physical Activity for Children with Cancer

The Benefits of Physical Activity for Children with Cancer

By Ben Hall – Paediatric Exercise Physiologist & Director of Ocean Kids Health

In the midst of tough times, the magic of physical activity is a beacon of hope for kids fighting cancer. This blog explores how regular physical activity can make a big difference in the lives of young superheroes facing cancer challenges. From boosting their health to building inner strength, physical activity plays a crucial role in the journey to recovery. Join me in discovering the incredible ways movement becomes a special friend in the fight against cancer in our little ones.

Benefits of Physical Activity for Children with Cancer
As a Paediatric Exercise Physiologist, I’ve witnessed the transformative effects that regular physical activity can have on the wellbeing of young warriors facing the challenging journey of cancer treatment. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Enhanced Overall Health: Physical activity plays a pivotal role in maintaining and improving the overall health of children undergoing cancer treatment. It helps mitigate the side effects of treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, bringing a sense of normalcy and vitality.
  2. Emotional Resilience: Physical activity significantly contributes to the mental and emotional resilience of children with cancer. The endorphin release and sense of accomplishment derived from physical activity alleviate stress and anxiety, fostering a positive mindset crucial for facing challenges.
  3. Preservation of Physical Function: Engaging in age-appropriate physical activities aids in preserving and enhancing muscular strength and joint flexibility. This is particularly vital for preventing potential complications arising from prolonged periods of immobility during treatment.
    In essence, the benefits of physical activity for children with cancer extend beyond physical health, encompassing emotional well-being and resilience, making it an invaluable companion.

My Top 3 Tips
When it comes to incorporating physical activity into the lives of children undergoing cancer treatment, a thoughtful and tailored approach is key. Here’s my top three tips to ensure a safe and beneficial experience:

  1. Consultation is Key: Before initiating any exercise regimen, consult with your child’s healthcare team. Each case is unique, and their medical professionals can provide insights into the types and intensity of activities that align with the individual’s treatment plan.
  2. Gradual Progression: Start with gentle, age-appropriate activities and gradually increase intensity. Whether it’s a short walk, playful stretching, or simple exercises, the emphasis should be on enjoyment and comfort. Small, consistent steps ensure the integration of physical activity without causing undue strain.
  3. Fun and Variety: Make physical activity enjoyable by incorporating elements of play and variety. Tailor activities to the child’s interests, ensuring that exercise becomes a positive and engaging part of their routine. This not only promotes physical well-being but also contributes to the overall emotional resilience needed during the cancer journey.

How a Paediatric Exercise Physiologist Can Help
In the complex landscape of childhood cancer, the role of a Paediatric Exercise Physiologist becomes indispensable in optimizing the overall well-being of young patients. With a detailed understanding of the unique challenges that come with cancer treatment, we serve as dedicated advocates for incorporating safe and effective physical activity into the lives of these courageous children.

Collaboration lies at the heart of our approach. We work closely with the healthcare team to design tailored exercise plans that seamlessly integrate with the individual’s medical protocol. This collaboration ensures a comprehensive understanding of the child’s health status and allows for adjustments that accommodate specific physical needs and limitations.

Beyond the physiological benefits, our role extends to fostering emotional resilience. By creating a supportive and engaging environment, we empower children and their families to embrace physical activity as a source of joy and strength throughout the journey of treatment. As a Paediatric Exercise Physiologist, our commitment is not just to the body but to the holistic well-being of each young warrior, facilitating a path to recovery marked by confidence and resilience.

Contact us on (03) 7009 3652 or today to book your child in for an assessment to learn more!

Ben Hall
Director | Paediatric Exercise Physiologist
Ocean Kids Health

Our Ocean Kids Health team are here to help you and your child thrive!