Multiple Myeloma is a blood cancer caused due to plasma cells. It accounts for 2% of all cancers and 15% of blood cancers. Multiple myeloma mainly affects those who are more than 65 years of age, though it has been also diagnosed in much younger people.
Patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma often wonder how to take the best care of themselves. With a practice of regular exercises, this can be done. Exercises can control blood sugar, weight, and insulin levels, improves libido, mood, and sleep, and minimizes the risk of disease.
Exercises reduce the risk of cancers and strengthen muscles and bones.
6 Best Exercises for Multiple Myeloma
The exercises for Multiple Myeloma patients include the following:(1,2)
One needs resistance exercises to help with daily activities including climbing stairs, walking, and getting in and out from the bed. Resistance training also helps with building muscles, tone them and also build muscle strength. For these exercises, you shall need a chair, a resistance exercise band or belt in case you do not have an exercise band. Sit on a chair and place the resistance band under the ball of your one foot while holding the two ends of the band with your hands. Keep your hands at the hip level. Now, lift the foot forward while pushing the heel towards the floor. Make sure not to lock your knee. Hold the position for a 10 seconds and then slowly release. Repeat it for 5 times and then do the exercise with the other leg.
These exercises help with daily activities including climbing stairs, walking, and getting up and down from the bed. The strength exercises can be of the following:
- Leg Curls
- Leg extension
- Wall pushups
- Calf stretch
- Ankle stretch
- Shoulder stretch
- Neck stretch
- Tricep curl
- Bicep curls
- Shoulder shrugs.
Balance Exercises for Multiple Myeloma
These exercises improve balance and minimize the risk of fall. Balance exercises are used as strategies to prevent falls and injuries. Whenever you do balance exercises you should keep the following things in your mind:
- Carry out these exercises safely
- Always use support
Be guided by a healthcare professional or a physiotherapist.
The aerobic exercises that help in building strength and also takes care of the cardiovascular system include:
- Climbing stairs
- Cross trainer
Flexibility exercises helps in managing the curvature of a spine, stretching the muscles in spine gently, maintains mobility, maintain the normal movement range. These include stretching exercises.
Relaxation Techniques for Multiple Myeloma
The relaxation exercises can be divided into mental and physical exercise. Mental exercises can help in mind relaxation such as deep breathing exercises, visualization, body awareness, relaxation tapes, and imagery. Physical exercises can relieve muscle tension such as progressive muscle relaxation techniques, gentle exercise, yoga, tai chi etc.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Stress and anxiety can help us to take shallow and short breaths. The shallow breathing that does not enable us to take adequate oxygen in our body and can make us feel more fatigued and anxious.
These exercises can be done anytime, anywhere, and any position. One such exercise is as follows:
- Take a slow long deep breath through your nose
- Put your hand in your lower abdomen
- You can feel your tummy rise
- Hold it for a few seconds
- Exhale slowly and allow your tummy to relax
- Repeat this 4-5 times
- Keep your eyes closed so that you can focus
Practice this exercise when you are stressed to get the maximum benefit and be able to calm yourself quickly.
Guidelines for Exercises for Multiple Myeloma
The following tips must be kept in mind while doing the exercises for multiple myeloma:
- Begin slowly
- Increase gradually
- Set goals and monitor your progress
- Listen to what your body says
- Do not lift heavyweights
- Avoid holding breath
- Avoid uneven ground and thus, risk of falling
- Avoid public pools/gyms if you have the risk to develop an infection.
Mild exercises can strengthen the muscles and boost energy levels in patients suffering from multiple myeloma.(2) Before being diagnosed if you did not exercise, you can begin slowly along with a mild activity such as walking. Before you begin exercising, check with your doctor the kinds of activities, which are good for you.
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