Welcome to the 21-day challenge! It’s fantastic that you have selected this opportunity to improve your health and fitness in the roaring year 2020. I am looking forward to seeing how well you do over the next 31 days. Your commitment to your health is outstanding!
Use your calendar to help you to keep track of your movement activity. Record your daily activities and the approximate total time you spent. At the end of the month you will submit your calendar. Then we will make rewards based on your level of participation.
Each week I will send you some suggestions for types of activities that might be beneficial for you. Remember that everybody is different.
This is about a way of life. It is a way of being to challenge for yourself. It’s known that it takes 21-days to create a habit.
As promised, when you selected to participate, you will receive reminders and suggestions as to a workout plan for the week. Remember it’s best to participate in a variety of activities that you enjoy most including aerobics, strength training, flexibility, and balance training.
Here is one suggestion to jump start your first week (days 1-7):
Aerobics or endurance-based activities are vital to heart health and mental well-being. Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming are all aerobic activities that are great to improve your endurance and energy level. Aerobics have also been shown to help with sleep patterns if done early in the day.
- Start at your level of ability. You should be able to perform the activity you select and talk at the same time.
- Breathing is important. The activity can be done is small bouts of 5-10 minutes or continuously. In other words, every step or activity counts.
- You may want to set a goal and gradually increase your activity toward your goal. For example: A goal may be to walk or run or swim or cycle 30-minutes 5 days a week.
- Perform your activity of choice 5 minutes at your usual pace, then 5 minutes at a moderate to a fast pace, then 5 minutes at your usual pace. Gradually increase the bouts of your activity over the next month by 5 minutes per week. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 5 days of aerobic activity per week for heart health.
- Your body responses best to changes in exercise intensity and type (e.g. cross training). So slow and faster bouts of aerobics can help your heart adjust to a wide variety of challenges.
- You may be “sore” so listen to your body! Make sure it is muscle soreness and not an injury. Delayed onset muscle soreness appears 24-48 hours after exercise.
- You may also experience shortness of breath. If so slow down a bit. Try pursed lip breathing. Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try slowing your breathing down, for example: Inward breath for 3 seconds and outward breath for 6 seconds.
If you have any questions at anytime, I will be available to answer them. Either text or email me.
Good luck and way to bring in the roaring 20s!
Best health always!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Early detection is key.
Performing monthly breast examinations are highly recommended. Encourage your loved ones to have yearly mammograms. If in doubt, seek out medical attention! I learned from my sister who had Breast cancer at age 31. Don’t wait!
Can I perform exercise or physical activity after Breast Cancer?
The answer is a resounding “Yes”. Cancer risk factors decrease with each acute bout of exercise. The accumulation of 150 minutes of moderate exercise and/or physical activity each week is recommended. Structured exercise can also prevent other diseases such as diabetes, heart and respiratory diseases. Physical activity also helps with improved mood and well-being. In short, any and all activity counts for your lifelong health and wellness.
What kinds of exercise can I safely perform during medical therapy sessions?
For people who have cancer and are in the midst of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, exercise can prevent tissues and muscles from becoming stiff and weak after a lumpectomy or radical mastectomy movement is essential.
Gradually increase your activity. Listen to your body. Breathe. What’s important is to maintain your strength, endurance and flexibility plus quality of life.
Strength: Strength training can keep your muscles in good shape to do your daily work, chores, and feeling good about your body.
Endurance: Aerobic activities, such as walking or cycling, can help keep your other joints moving freely so you have more energy for your favorite hobbies or for playing with your children or grandchildren.
Flexibility: Yoga can help with flexibility, balance, and strength so that you can put on your bra, tie your shoes and go to the grocery store or shopping. Yoga can also help with pain and stress management to get through your days and nights with better sleep hygiene.
What about lymphedema after surgery?
If you have had breast cancer and surgery, some complications that may occur include lymphedema, loss of arm mobility, strength and function, depending on the extent of your surgery and stage. Early detection is important at stage 0, 1, 2 and before local spread stage 3, or metastases at stage 4.
Gentle active movement or physical activity helps reduce lymphedema (swelling of the involved arm), reduces stiffening of tissues including muscle and facia from the underlying bones and joints. You may need to seek and expert in lymphedema management.
What is Cancer-Related Fatigue?
Short bouts of exercise and a walking program integrated into your daily routine (at times when you are less fatigued) can improve conditioning. In combination, nutrition, sleep hygiene and physical activity form the triad of recovery from breast cancer.
How can I minimize Pain?
Movement can reduce pain when performed in therapeutic amounts. Soft tissue mobility and strengthening in combination with gentle stretches may be helpful to reduce your pain.
Are individual or group sessions best for me?
After a diagnosis of breast cancer, exercise sessions under the supervision of an expert physical therapist is vital for your successful return to full functioning and quality of life. Having someone to support you can be fun!
Quality of life is the ultimate goal as you return to typical activities to get your life back after breast cancer. After my sister went through breast cancer at age 31, she came back with so much energy and passion for life. She is an inspiration to me and so many others.
Contact Dr. Ann H. Newstead, PT, DPT, PhD for more information or a complementary 30-minute Discovery Consultation Visit. A Healthy Life for All Ages!