The Benefits of Exercise During CLL Treatment

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Topics include: Living Well

What are the benefits of exercise for CLL patients—even during treatment?  Andrew Schorr, Patient Power founder, poses this question to an expert panel, including Dr. Michael Keating, Dr. Wenli Liu and Dr. Nicole Lamanna. The panelists discuss the positive benefits of exercise on the mind and body and the importance of balance between exertion and rest.

Provided by CLL Global Research Foundation, which received support from AbbVie Inc., Genentech Inc., Gilead Sciences, Pharmacyclics, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals and TG Therapeutics. In partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Andrew Schorr:

So I’m going to ask you guys about it, but what’s the evidence about the benefit of exercise, even while you’re going through active treatment? 

Dr. Liu: 

The fitness is very, very important in terms of making you feel capable. So your physical ability definitely gives you a certain sense of ability, makes you feel that I’m capable to do certain things. So let’s see if you used to climbing three flights of stairs, it doesn’t even phase you. If you barely climb half a flight, you already cannot continue. So that’s really a big hit on your confidence. And the design is to, even during the treatment, the best way is to maintain. Definitely, there is a balance how much you spend on your energy and how much you reserve. 

There’s definitely a balance there. So the interval of the treatment, it is designed for you to recover. You mentioned two days and three days after treatment, that’s the worst. 

You may take more rests, short naps. Make sure you’re hydrated. Try the best to get the nutrition in. Once you recover, the physical activity needs to bump up. And based on your goal of your weight, whether you do need to lose weight, or you need to maintain, you need to gain, the exercise could be different. You focus on more resistance exercise, if you really try to gain weight and gain muscle. And if really try to lose weight, especially fatty tissue, some of the cardio exercise such as walking, jogging probably is needed.

Andrew Schorr:

Okay. Through FCR, I don’t know if you did, I continued to exercise. And it was great for here.

Dr. Lamanna:      

And remember, exercise stimulates endorphins and cytokines and natural things that help you. People who exercise feel better, whether you have CLL or are on treatment or not. If you’re taking care of your body, you have more energy, your ability to do more, your daily activities; you can climb a full flight of steps, things like that. 

Some things are common sense. But remember, we all don’t have common sense, that’s the problem. I’ll speak for myself, I guess. But it’s true. So you have to think about that. So just like with the foods we were talking about, obviously, if you’re eating fried foods, common sense is common. If you’re taking care of your body, this will help go along the way whether you have CLL, diabetes, hypertension, high blood—whatever the case may be, you’re taking better care of yourself. That does mean that your body is able to do some things. When we evaluated what types of treatments the artfulness that you were talking about of CLL, some of it might be based on how you are.

And Michael might say maybe not, maybe yes. It depends. But part of that also is what your other medical problems and how you are physically during the day. And so that is very important. We’re not undermining this at all. But you’ve got to take some common sense here. So exercise is very important. The supplements, as I said, it’s issues that we’re just wanting to make sure you’re not harming yourself.

It’s not that we’re against supplements, but we want to know about them, and that’s very important. 

Dr. Keating:         

The only thing that I’d like to add to that is there’s, quite often, a caregiver that’s with us. And if you’re going to walk, why don’t you walk with your caregiver, because I’ve personally found that it’s the best way to communicate. Just going along there. There’s nothing else happening. You’re talking to each other, etc. And it establishes a better relationship rather than just walking by yourself or hopping on a damn machine and getting worn down.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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Page last updated on July 20, 2017