On this episode of Your Guide Through Cancer Podcast, Executive Director, Mindy Griffin speaks with Victoria Cramer, a three-time cancer survivor and an author, motivational speaker, happiness coach, and recovering global leader in the hotel industry. They explore some of the life hacks she discovered as she was surviving cancer. Victoria is a people champion and spends much of her time greening up the human spirit and mentoring the human race on how to find happiness in spite of the epic stuff thrown at us each day.
We all know that staying physically active has many benefits for our health such as increased flexibility/balance/muscle strength, controlling weight, regulating blood pressure, digestion, improved mood, thinking, and sleep, just to name a few.
But did you know that getting regular exercise may also:
- Help you live longer?
- Ironically, reduce fatigue and increase your energy?
- Reduce your risk for developing some types of cancers?
- Reduce the risk of certain cancers recurring?
- Ease some side effects of cancer treatment?
We have so many gadgets to inform us of what level of activity we are doing down to the minute on a daily basis. We even get “scolded” if we are not moving enough! When these gadgets first came out many thought that was exactly what they were – just gadgets. Today, many feel these are lifesaving instruments. Use the great technology out there to your advantage and commit to getting fit!
Check in with your doctor for guidance on how to begin an exercise routine that’s right for you. If you have no health restrictions, gradually build up to 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week (or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity). Take it slow at first and if you miss a day just try again the next day.
Aim for a combo of cardio and strength training. (You can do strength training with or without weights)
Besides the obvious forms of exercise like walking, running, hiking, biking, swimming, aerobics, activities like dancing, gardening (digging, raking), household chores (vacuuming, mopping, washing windows, sorry!) or actively playing with children can be just as effective.
If you can’t do full 30-minute sessions some days, break it up into 2 or 3 sessions of 10 or 15 minutes each. It all counts!
Make it easy and fun! Change it up and do a variety of activities you enjoy by yourself or with a safely-distanced buddy.
Crankin’ up the tunes while you work will actually make you move faster and with more intensity.
Join us in our 2020 Get Moving for Bag It Fundraiser, Oct. 16-25, for a variety of activities to get you motivated.
Check in to see how you and those you love are doing to reduce the risk of cancer or a recurrence. Here are some tips and resources to get you started.
- Maintain your ideal weight
- Physical activity
- Walk, jog, dance, bike, swim – or whatever you like to do
- Get up and move every hour
- Eat lots of fresh vegetable and fruits of every color, whole grains, beans
- Avoid sugar, processed meats, junk foods
- Limit/eliminate alcohol intake
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products
- Avoid risky behaviors
- Have regular check-ups with your primary care physician
- Maintain good overall health to avoid viruses and chronic infections that increase your cancer risk
- Get cancer screenings and cancer vaccines recommended by your doctor
- Protect your skin from the UV rays from the sun. Use sunscreen and don’t use tanning booths
- Steer clear of secondhand smoke and other environmental carcinogens
Want to know more? Check out these sites:
We are told over and over again about the benefits of physical activity, but many of us find lots of excuses not to do it, or not to do it consistently anyhow. Kudos to the many rockstars that embrace it and engage in some sort of activity on a consistent basis – please motivate us! Physical activity impacts many aspects of our lives and can help improve your mood, your sense of well-being and improve endurance while helping with depression and fatigue. Studies suggest that physical activity may help to prevent/reduce the risk of a secondary cancer later in life and/or lower the risks of other cancers. So, go enjoy the cooler temps of fall and get moving. (If you are in Tucson join Bag It for our annual Take a Hike at Catalina State Park on October 27th) Physical activity includes walking, swimming, cycling, gardening and other activities that keep you from sitting or remaining sedentary for long periods of time – even dancing! It is always important to consult with your healthcare team, especially if making major changes to your activity or if you are in or recently completed (cancer) treatment. This doesn’t mean you can’t move and research shows that physical activity during and after treatment can actually help. Talk with your doctor and other healthcare team members about your physical activity. They can provide guidance and help you find exercise resources.
What type of activity should I do? How often and for how long?
Is it safe to exercise during cancer treatment?
Should I avoid certain exercises?
What resources are available to me?