Staying physically active can support wellbeing for people with multiple myeloma (MM). Regular exercise can contribute to better physical function, improved mood, and better quality of life. Lack of exercise can lead to diminished strength and physical function and contribute to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Yoga, walking outside or on a treadmill, weight lifting, biking, and water-based exercise are popular among MyMyelomaTeam members. Your doctor can help you determine which types of exercise are appropriate for you. Even a little bit of movement on a regular basis can have benefits.
Members find that staying active before and after allogeneic or autologous stem cell transplants improves their ability to bounce back after the procedure. One member shared, “I am convinced that movement and exercise has really contributed to my recovery.”
MM symptoms or treatment side effects like fatigue and pain can make physical activity challenging. “I need to go to the gym and do my water walking, but my fatigue is winning. So tired of being tired,” a member of MyMyelomaTeam wrote.
Another member shared, “I am very active, but one thing I have trouble with lately is the blood circulation in my hands and feet. I don't know if it is latent neuropathy.”
Some members are able to exercise and enjoy their favorite activities while dealing with difficult symptoms and side effects. One member commented, “Side effects are not so good: fatigue, fevers, can't sleep, muscle cramps. I do stay active. I'm the lead singer and guitar player of my band and I also go to the gym four to five times a week.”
There may be times where you can push through pain and fatigue, but there are other times where you need to take a break. “I try to stay active practicing yoga and as much stand-up paddle boarding as I can. I fall behind with strength and flexibility when I get sick and can do nothing,” a member wrote.
Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about balancing physical activity with symptoms and side effects.
On MyMyelomaTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with myeloma, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles. Staying active is one of the most discussed topics.
Here are some conversations about staying active:
How do you stay physically active? Share your experience in the comments below or directly on MyMyelomaTeam.