Last weekend was Labor Day, and I wanted to talk about fitness and the importance of exercising and how it helps you throughout your life, not just because you are a breast cancer survivor, but because exercise has so many benefits.
Exercise helps you reduce stress and weight, which in turn enhances your mood, improves your cardiovascular system and, in some cases, creates your social life – all of which lead to a healthier, happier you.
In September, just like after New Year’s, people make all kinds of resolutions about keeping themselves on a healthy track. Unfortunately, like most resolutions, exercise always lands in the “next year” pile. The excuses are pretty universal: “I don’t have time,” “My knees hurt,” “My kids play soccer,” etc., etc., etc.
Unfortunately, not exercising can be harmful to your health – yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Since the end of June, there were over 10 articles on major news channels and in cancer journals about lowering your cancer risk and lowering your risk of recurrence through exercise. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) created a visual similar to the new “Choose MyPlate” food pyramid, whose purpose is to help you learn more about “how to.”�
AICR experts estimate that, overall, about a third of the 1.5 million cancers that occur every year in the U.S. could be prevented by following these guidelines. All three are essential ingredients as you travel through your survivorship journey. This is not to say any of them will prevent you from getting cancer, just that monitoring them will lower your risk.
As a Jazzercise devotee for over 32 years, I urge everyone to find their sport and stick to it. I have told people repeatedly, I’m not sure if I would have had enough stamina to go through a lumpectomy, major lung surgery and then chemo and radiation if I wasn’t fit. Cutting, more cutting, poison and radiation – what an assault on your body!
Many people I know call me their hero because I would go to exercise class the first week after having chemo. What they didn’t realize is that I had to go. It was an integral part of my routine; it kept me grounded and made me feel NORMAL. I didn’t jump as high or do as much, because everything hurt, but I just kept pushing on.
There’s got to be something out there that you LOVE to do that’s good for you. Find it and do it!
Muriel, four-year, 9 month breast and lung cancer survivor
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