New studies show workouts can boost self-esteem during a difficult time and even help women get through their chemotherapy treatments on schedule.
A local fitness program is helping cancer survivors like Liz Pope speed up the recovery process. These days she's making every rep count and taking one step at a time. "I found out about six months ago that I had the cancer. It's been a rapid journey."
A journey made easier by the cancer fitness program at Avera McKennan fitness center.
"It's come at just the right time," she said. "I'm through radiation and chemo. And this is just the perfect conclusion to helping me to be a really good survivor."
Select staff is trained to deal with physical and emotional setbacks.
"They understand the needs of the cancer patients, which is important because it's difficult for a cancer patient to just jump right back in to exercise. They have to start slowly," said Program Director Marcia Jones
The eight week program takes a holistic approach, incorporating mind and body exercises.
"The balance that I see here in the cancer fitness center is just amazing. It's just exactly what you need to get your mind clear," Pope said.
Before beginning any exercise program you should always discuss it with your doctor. Even though exercise has so many benefits, oncologists say that the biggest hurdle is convincing people to ignore that voice that says, 'I am too tired to exercise.'