Prehabilitation – why strength training is so important in this phase

Prehabilitation – why strength training is so important in this phase

Juni 25, 2024

Anyone who starts muscle-building training immediately after being diagnosed with cancer can cope better with subsequent treatments, speed up recovery and benefit from a survival advantage.


Prehabilitation – why strength training is so important in this phase

Prehabilitation is still a relatively new term, but numerous studies have shown that it has become very important and is unfortunately still not being used to its full potential. Prehabilitation is the more or less large time window between diagnosis and the start of treatment. It can be as short as a few days or as long as a few weeks.


The more muscles the better

And it is precisely this phase, no matter how long it lasts, that you should use to build up as much muscle as possible. Fortunately, this is not a Herculean task! Even if you have done little or no sport so far, you can achieve a great deal during this phase.


The unambiguous study situation

A study involving 60 men suffering from prostate cancer has shown how helpful muscle-building training is in the prehabilitation phase. One group did 60 minutes of strength training with resistance bands three times a week. The comparison group did no sport. The result: the patients who exercised had greater stamina, were stronger and were also less afraid of the subsequent operation. Compared to those who did not exercise, they were able to recover much faster from the operation and return to normal life, including their jobs, much sooner. In another large study, the data of 49,000 breast and colon cancer patients was analyzed. Those who started strength training immediately after diagnosis had a significantly greater chance of survival.


Why muscles work like medicine

It’s easy to explain why strength training is so good for you: Strength training builds muscle and an increase in muscle mass offers many benefits. Muscles play an important role in metabolism, energy production and the immune system. Increased muscle can help maintain metabolism, meet energy needs and better protect the body against the stresses of therapy. In addition, well-trained muscles support mobility, improve quality of life and can mitigate the side effects of cancer therapy, such as fatigue and muscle weakness.


Much higher quality of life

To summarize: More muscle mass at the start of treatment means that you can get through the subsequent therapies much better. In addition, you are better able to maintain your everyday functions for longer. And very importantly, you get back on your feet much more quickly. Many clinical studies have now proven this.