Martial arts can be the right exercise regimen for child cancer survivors

December 31, 2013

Children who are cancer survivors can turn to martial arts.

Many young children who survive cancer are fighters long before they begin martial arts training. However, new research shows that physical exercise, such as Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, can help kids on their road to recovery.

Exercising helps childhood cancer survivors resume a normal life
The Associated Press reported researchers at The National Children’s Cancer Society have found that physical activity can “increase energy, improve mood, boost self-esteem, stimulate the immune system and reduce symptoms of pain, diarrhea and constipation” for children who lived through cancer. Finding an exercise regimen that includes non-weight bearing activities can be just the thing for kids who want to improve their physical fitness after going through extensive chemotherapy.

“Physical activity is important for pediatric cancer survivors’ health and emotional well-being,” said Pam Gabris, a nurse and the Beyond the Cure coordinator for The NCCS. “Parents should work closely with their child’s doctors to gauge how much physical activity is right for their child, and monitor exercise programs and athletic involvement to maximize the benefits and monitor the child for late-term effects.”

Aerobics may be the answer for childhood cancer survivors
Doctors believe that exercise programs that help children work on their flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, power, balance and agility can help kids resume a normal life after surviving cancer. Martial arts may be the right choice for many of these children. An article for Martial Arts Sparring said that children can integrate cardio activities such as running, jumping rope and swimming into their martial arts exercise routine to supplement their training.

Not only will these types of exercise help cancer-surviving children get into better physical shape, but they will also help them build up the muscle that they lost during chemotherapy. The website said that general cardio can also improve recovery times from training sessions that can make kids a little sore. With improved muscular strength, children who have survived cancer can advance in their martial arts training.

The American College of Sports Medicine stated that aerobic exercises decrease the risk of falling and suffering from bone fractures. These safe exercises can provide children in remission with a way to build up their strength and confidence in their bodies. Martial arts can give kids who have survived cancer a chance to succeed in athletics.