Moving your body for just a few minutes a day may have many benefits for not only your body, but your mind too. Depending on your level of strength, you may have the energy to go for a jog around the neighborhood. Other days you may feel more comfortable going for a leisurely walk or doing some light stretching. Before starting any kind of exercise, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor first and listen to your body so you don’t overexert yourself.
Different Types of Movement
No matter how much strength and endurance you have, there are a number of exercises you could try. Low-intensity regimens may also work if you’re not feeling great but still want to get in some movement.
Breathing techniques are a great option for improving breathing capacity. These exercises involve taking long, slow breaths in through your nose, and then exhaling through your mouth, which may help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a different technique that could help strengthen the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. It’s a form of deep breathing that allows more air to move in and out of the lungs without tiring out the chest muscles. Start by sitting or standing up straight, and placing one hand on your abdomen. Purse your lips, then slowly inhale through your nose while gently pushing your abdomen out. This helps to increase lung capacity. Next, exhale slowly through pursed lips while also pushing your abdomen inwards and upward. This helps to empty the lungs completely. Practicing this exercise several times a day will not only help strengthen your abdominal muscles but it can help with shortness of breath too.
Stretching is useful because it could help to restore mobility in the chest and back, which impacts the movement of the lungs and diaphragm.
Stretching also helps the body by elongating the muscles, which then can help improve circulation, increasing oxygen to the muscles, and helping to repair the body. Consider trying out an online beginner yoga class, or do a series of stretches in your living room.
Aerobic exercise is known to improve heart health, and can even boost your mood. Activities such as walking, dancing, or biking are a great way to spend time with loved ones while also getting your heart rate up.
The best part about aerobic exercises is that they’re convenient—you can do them when you want, wherever you want. It’s a good idea to start off with something small, like walking to the mailbox and back. Then, try to build your way up to something that requires a bit more effort, like going for a walk.
Cancer, as well as some cancer treatments, cause fatigue that leads to decreased physical activity—and that can lead to loss of muscle mass. Practicing some sort of strength training can lead to positive results like building muscle and improving mobility.