New Exercise Class Provides Benefits During Cancer Treatment

New Exercise Class Provides Benefits During Cancer Treatment
April 19, 2019 Janet Long

Exercise Class Provides Benefits During Cancer Treatment

April 19, 2019 – The Radiation Therapy Center of Morris Hospital is offering a free exercise class for individuals who are currently undergoing or have already completed cancer treatment. The program was inspired by Radiation Oncologist Ommar Hla, M.D., who believes exercise has numerous benefits following surgical, chemotherapy or radiation cancer treatment.

Taught by Morris Hospital Wellness staff, the Low Intensity Functional Training (LIFT) class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-9:30 a.m. at the Radiation Therapy Center, 1600 W. U.S. Route 6, Morris. Exercises include stretching movements using elastic bands or light weights that can be performed while standing or sitting in a chair.

Dr. Hla says she got the idea for the class after noticing a number of breast cancer patients were unable to lift their arms over their heads. Patients were also reporting falls over the winter months as a result of being weak and off balance.

“Functionally, the body is limited during and after cancer treatment because you haven’t used it the same way you usually do,” explains Dr. Hla. “I’ve always believed we can improve ourselves through physical activity and lifestyle changes and felt an exercise class at the Radiation Therapy Center could help our patients restore mobility, balance and strength in the upper and lower extremities.”

In addition to maintaining or improving physical abilities, the American Cancer Society says exercise can also lessen symptoms of fatigue, improve self-esteem, lower the risk of anxiety and depression, improve independence, and enhance socialization.

Morris Hospital’s new LIFT class is for individuals of all ages regardless of where they received their cancer treatment.

“Ultimately, I want my patients to be more mobile and function better than they did when they came here,” says Dr. Hla. “Exercise will help make them more stable, strong and independent.”

To register, call the Radiation Therapy Center of Morris Hospital at 815-705-7370.

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