woman with cancer showing peace sign

The moment of a cancer diagnosis can feel like a pivotal point in one's life, ushering in a period of uncertainty and challenge. Yet, amidst the complexities of treatments and appointments, two critical pillars of self-care emerge as beacons of hope and resilience: exercise and nutrition.

These components are not just adjuncts to medical treatments but are foundational to enhancing quality of life, bolstering strength, and fostering recovery. As we explore exercise and nutrition during cancer treatment, remember that you're not navigating this path alone.

Let's explore how integrating thoughtful nutrition and purposeful movement into your care plan can be transformative.

Nutrition During Cancer Treatment

The role of nutrition in cancer care cannot be overstated. Proper dietary choices can significantly influence your capacity to manage the rigors of treatment and its side effects.

flyer containing oncology food recommendations. Green leaf, orange fruit, spices, snacks, meat
Click Here To Download

“During cancer treatment, you might need to change your diet to help build up your strength and withstand the effects of the cancer and its treatment. The nutrition plan may mean eating things that aren't normally recommended when in good health.”—American Cancer Society.

Here are four essential considerations to empower your nutrition journey:

  1. Tailored Dietary Strategies: Recognize that your nutritional needs are unique. Engaging with your healthcare team to craft a personalized eating plan can address specific challenges, whether they're related to maintaining weight or managing treatment side effects like nausea or altered taste.

  • Nourishment for Strength: High-protein, high-calorie foods may become more central in your diet, especially if maintaining weight becomes a concern. These choices help sustain your strength, ensuring your body has the resources to repair and recover.

  • Managing Side Effects with Nutrition: Certain foods can alleviate or at least not exacerbate side effects. Soft, cool foods like ice cream or milkshakes might be soothing for mouth sores, while snacks high in protein and calories can offer energy boosts without requiring large meals.

  • Vital Nutrients: Focus on various foods to ensure you receive all necessary nutrients. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals each support your body's fight against cancer and the effects of its treatment.

Exercise During Cancer Treatment

The notion of exercising during cancer treatment might feel daunting; however, research consistently highlights its benefits.

“Some studies have proposed that rehabilitation exercise can reduce the cardiopulmonary adverse reactions, bone loss and incidence rate of fractures caused by cancer surgery or chemotherapy, and improve the quality of life of patients.”--NIH

Here are key insights to guide your physical activity:

  • Safety and Personalization: Consult your cancer care team before exercising. Your safety is paramount, and activities should be tailored to your current health status and treatment phase.

woman with cancer doing yoga

  • Moderate Exercise: Walking, yoga, or light resistance training can improve physical functioning and alleviate symptoms like fatigue and anxiety. The goal is to stay as active as your condition allows, gradually increasing activity over time.

  • Building a Routine: Regular, moderate exercise can enhance quality of life during and after treatment. Benefits include improved cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and even a positive impact on mood and mental health.

  • Exercise as a Catalyst for Recovery: Beyond immediate quality-of-life improvements, exercise during treatment can lay the groundwork for a more robust recovery, potentially influencing long-term outcomes.

What to Expect at The Therapy Network

At The Therapy Network, we understand the profound impact cancer diagnosis and treatment can have on your physical and emotional well-being. For exercise and nutrition during cancer treatment, TTN’s Oncology Physical Therapy Services support you through this journey, offering:

Customized Care Plans: Addressing symptoms like fatigue, pain, and mobility issues, our specialists tailor interventions to enhance your quality of life.

Innovative Solutions: From aqua therapy to specialized exercises, we utilize a range of modalities to support your recovery and rehabilitation.

women in pool aqua therapy

At The Therapy Network in Hampton Roads, Virginia, you’re not just a patient but part of our family. Our employee-owned structure means everyone you meet invests in your health and recovery.

Exercise and nutrition during cancer treatment are not just strategies for managing a diagnosis; they're integral parts of a holistic approach to cancer care. These elements empower you to control your health and actively participate in your recovery journey. As you navigate the challenges ahead, remember that The Therapy Network supports you every step, offering the expertise, care, and compassion you deserve.

Let's embrace a future focused on wellness, strength, and healing together. Appointments are available today without a doctor's referral.

The path to health and fitness can feel daunting for many of us. At The Therapy Network, we understand the challenges and are dedicated to helping you find the motivation to reach your health goals.

The Forbes Health/One Poll survey found that the average resolution lasts just 3.74 months. How can you beat the odds? This blog offers compassionate guidance and practical steps to help you embark on this life-enhancing journey. Here, you will learn the following:

  • The importance of mini-goals

  • How to celebrate success along the way

  • The benefits of sharing your goals with an accountability partner

How The Therapy Network can motivate you to reach your health goals

Confidence Builders: The Power of Small Steps

two women walking
Finding the motivation to begin walking again

Attaining fitness targets begins with setting and achieving small health goals. Whether increasing your daily steps or choosing healthier snacks, these mini victories can significantly boost your confidence. A good practice is to write down your daily goals and check them off as you achieve them. Tailor your goals to fit your lifestyle. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all in health and fitness; it's about what works for you.

A helpful tip from the Therapy Network team is to set one daily goal. It is to walk thirty minutes, cut out sugar for the day, or attend a fitness class. When first setting goals, start with one mini-goal a day.

Remember, every small step counts towards a healthier you.

Incremental Changes to Food and Exercise

Embrace gradual changes in your diet and lifestyle. Switching to more plant-based meals or reducing processed foods are small changes that can make a big difference. Focus on the overall benefits of a balanced diet rather than just weight loss.

Incorporate exercise into your routine in ways that you enjoy. From walking during your commute to joining an exercise class, find activities that fit your schedule and make you happy. Remember, it’s about making exercise a part of your life, not a chore.

Rewards Beyond Food: Celebrating Achievements

Celebrate your successes with non-food rewards. Whether it’s a movie night, a day trip, or quality time with loved ones, find joy in achievements without associating them with food. This practice nurtures a healthy relationship with both your accomplishments and your diet.

For motivation to reach your health goals, make a list of non-food rewards. Keep the list handy and review it often. When you lose ten pounds, what will be your reward? Consider sharing your list with friends or family. Remind friends, family, and your accountability partner that your rewards will be non-food based.

How important is an accountability partner?

Sharing the Journey: Support and Accountability

Delores W at Yosemite after preparing at TTN

Sharing your goals and progress with friends or family can be incredibly motivating. It's not just about sharing the triumphs but also about finding strength and learning from the setbacks. Remember, the journey to better health is not just about the destination but also the shared experiences.

Monitoring your progress can be a great motivator and adds a layer of accountability. Whether through a fitness app or a simple journal, seeing the tangible results of your efforts can spur you on to keep going. It's not just about numbers; it's about recognizing the effort you're putting in.

Motivation to reach your health goals may be only a friend or a phone app away. Or, a professional therapist from The Therapy Network can help you stay motivated.

The Therapy Network: Your Partner in Health

At The Therapy Network in Hampton Roads, Virginia, we specialize in helping you reach your health goals through physical therapy. Since 1987, our commitment to patient-centric care has driven us to offer a wide range of services tailored to your needs.

Our team of therapists are skilled in various modalities like manual therapy, exercise prescription, and more. We focus on understanding your goals and crafting a plan that resonates with your journey.

Celebrating a well earned finish with TTN's Lauren Stacy, PT, DPT, Cert. MDT

We believe in empowering our patients through education and ongoing support. By understanding your body and its movements, you can take control of your health and make informed decisions. Our therapists are here to guide you, offering support and adjusting your plan as needed.

Did you know that you do not need a physician’s referral to start your journey to a healthy lifestyle at The Therapy Network?

Convenient and Specialized Services at The Therapy Network

Our six clinics across Hampton Roads offer extended hours to fit your busy schedule. We ensure the highest quality of care with a range of specialized services and a dedication to innovation.

Your Path to a Healthier Tomorrow

Building motivation to reach your health goals involves small, consistent steps. At The Therapy Network, we support you every step of the way. From setting achievable goals to providing personalized care, we are your partners in this journey to wellness.

Let’s take this step together towards a healthier, happier you.

In this seasonal blog, we look at the causes and how to prevent holiday injuries.

The holiday season, especially Christmas, sees our streets and homes illuminated with lights, ornaments, and festive cheer. While the merriment is infectious, another side to this joyous occasion is the high rate of holiday-related injuries.

Holiday Injury Statistics

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC.gov) highlights that over 18,000 Americans annually find themselves in the ER due to injuries caused by Christmas decor. In one ten-year span, Christmas decorations sent an alarming 134,281 people to the emergency departments.

What’s the trend in holiday injuries?

Males account for 58% of all holiday injuries. It's interesting to note that men, more frequently than women, were injured while using ladders. This stat hints at men being more involved in hanging higher-placed decorations or less cautious when climbing. Another contributor to holiday injury is slips or falls on ice or muscle strain from shoveling snow.


It's crucial to be aware of the risk factors to prevent holiday injuries. Especially falls, which lead the charts during this time of year. Let’s take a look at both holiday decorating accidents and weather-related falls.

Decorating Injuries

Making our homes look festive sometimes comes with unexpected costs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that 160 decorating-related injuries happen daily during the holiday season in the U.S. Almost 50% of these accidents are falls resulting in concussions, broken bones, and strained muscles.

To prevent holiday injuries while decorating:

  • Inspect your ladder for any defects.

  • Ensure you're working with others when on a ladder.

  • Follow guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, like moving the ladder's base a foot away from the wall for every four feet of height.

The holidays also mean heavy lifting - from packages to groceries. Heavy lifting can lead to strained backs and necks. A preventive measure is to lift using your legs, not overextending yourself, and ensure that online shopping doesn't strain your neck. (Can looking at your phone or computer cause neck pain? Yes! Read a blog from our resource library.)

It's alarming to read actual cases that require emergency medical attention. Here are just a few tracked by Cannon Law. The law firm researched accidents caused by holiday decorating…is it truth or fiction that Americans are injured while decorating their homes for the holiday season? It's true, and here is a quote: 

“An 83-year-old woman who tripped over a Christmas train, hitting her head on concrete. Other instances include rib fractures from falls while decorating and foot fractures from accidents involving Christmas trees.”

It emphasizes the need for safety and, for those who face injuries, the Importance of Fall Prevention, which can be explored in detail in this blog from The Therapy Network.

Snow and Ice Cause Holiday Injuries

The winter wonderland can quickly turn into a slippery hazard. Holiday celebrations should be free of trips to the hospital due to falls on icy surfaces. Adding to this, the season's euphoria, with a mix of alcohol, fatigue, and boisterous children, can make homes accident-prone, especially on stairs.

Keeping stairs clutter-free, having adequate lighting, and eliminating tripping hazards can significantly prevent holiday injuries. Physical therapy may play a positive role in your recovery if you do fall.

Physical therapy plays a pivotal role after a fall on ice by:

  • Reducing pain through specialized treatments.

  • Restoring lost function and mobility.

  • Educating on fall prevention, ensuring the safety of the individual in icy conditions.

How can physical therapy help in your recovery from a holiday accident? To find out, read about The Therapy Network.

The Therapy Network in Hampton Roads, Virginia

At The Therapy Network, we prioritize our patients. With six clinics spread across Hampton Roads, we offer flexible timings, accommodating appointments as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 7 p.m.

Our therapists specialize in their fields, with each clinic boasting McKenzie-trained professionals. Appointments can be made effortlessly, even without a physician's referral, often available on the same day. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit here.

To understand how physical therapy can enhance daily life, especially during the holiday season, look at our blog on Physical Therapy Improving Daily Life.  

Remember, staying informed is the first step to prevent holiday injuries. Stay safe and enjoy the festivities!