As you know by now, I am a big advocate of exercise! I think it’s really important for my weight loss but, more importantly, I think it’s really important for health reasons. My exercise challenge blog post contained many stats about how exercise can reduce the risk of certain illnesses…so I am not just investing in my weight loss, but also in my long-term health. I imagine I have probably caused a considerable amount of damage to my poor old body already, and so I want to try and right this as best as I can.
But what happens if you are already ill? I have family members and friends with arthritis, fibromyalgia, mobility issues, cancer…some truly amazing people who keep battling conditions that affect not only their bodies, but their minds too. I often wonder what sort of energy levels they have, and wonder wether they have the inclination to exercise and to keep their bodies strong. Are they in too much pain to exercise? I was then contacted by a lady called Melanie Bowen who writes for an organisation called ‘Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance’ – their website can be found here – http://www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma/ – who wanted to highlight the benefits of exercising whilst suffering from cancer. I decided to take a look at what she had to say about the subject, as my personal thoughts are that exercise has so many benefits regardless of your health – within reason obviously!
So here is what she wrote…
‘Fight Cancer with Physical Fitness
During a battle for your life, one of the most important tools is a positive outlook. For cancer patients, physical exercise can provide an elevated mood and greatly increase the quality of life. Whether you have recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, are undergoing treatment for colon cancer, or are a long-term survivor of any type of cancer, getting to the gym or going on a daily walk is an important part of your daily self-care.
In the past, oncology doctors would discourage cancer patients from strenuous exercise. Today, however, research indicates several benefits to exercising regularly during and after treatment. These include the following:
• Better weight management
• Lower cholesterol
• Improved mood
• Better social connections
• Lower risk of osteoporosis
• Better balance and decreased fall risks
• Decreased fatigue
• Better circulation and blood flow
Whether or not you were physically active prior to your cancer diagnosis, you need to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle now. If you have questions concerning the right level of exercise for yourself, consult your doctor. Your oncology staff will happily give you physical fitness tips as well as point you in the direction of programs specifically designed for cancer patients.
Once you learn that you are cancer free, you should continue with a regular fitness program. Research concerning fitness and cancer survivors is currently ongoing. Many studies indicate that there may be a correlation between regular exercise and a decreased chance of cancer recurrence. Other research points to survivors of certain cancer who exercise regularly living longer than those who do not. While exercise isn’t a cure for cancer, current indications point to many positive results of incorporating it into daily life.
Throughout your fight against cancer and into your years of remaining cancer free, doctors and your oncology staff will do many things to help you. Only you, however, can influence your personal fitness. Make a commitment to exercise regularly. This commitment will certainly enrich your life, and you may find even more benefits as time goes on.’
Some interesting points I thought, many of which seem fairly obvious really. But think how obvious they would be to someone fighting cancer…I am sure that exercise wouldn’t seem like a priority! I took the time after receiving this information to have a look at some stats surrounding cancer and discovered that in 2010, 324,579 people in the UK were diagnosed with cancer.
Quite shocking really. Given that obesity raises the risk of certain types of cancer, it certainly gave me an additional kick up the backside and has ensured my continued focus on exercise. I don’t just want to do the minimum to lose weight, I want to really help my body get to a healthy state to prevent these kinds of illnesses.
Thank you for taking a look at this today – I am sure Melanie will appreciate it.
Today’s usuals have been lovely!…
I woke up at an ungodly hour for me – as I was on ‘dropping sister at work, niece at nursery and babysitting nephew’ duty today! Despite the horses, we aren’t up at the crack of dawn usually and therefore tend to stay up fairly late too. Although I knew we were up early and was trying to get an early night to compensate, this just didn’t pan out…best plans and all that! We were met in the street by an over-excited two year old who likes to do Boxercise with me, and a niece carrying a bag of empty cereal boxes for nursery so she could “make stuff”! So I duly dropped my sister at work and headed to nursery, but before we could deposit her, she had to spend time fussing my dog who had been relegated to the boot! This scared my nephew as he thought the dog was trying to get him, so my other half quickly left me to deal with this whilst he did the nursery signing in bit – typical. It was then off to horses, and the dog and my other half sorted them out whilst the little man and I did our Boxercise and Dancercise…sit-ups were out of the question today! We then went to the park but couldn’t stay for long as we were all frozen – yes, even I braved the park, despite the fact that there were ‘youths’ there…albeit posh ones from a very affluent village – and then it was off to the Golden Arches for lunch. I managed to resist, despite having to supervise the feeding of a Happy Meal which was eaten half on my knee and half on the dashboard, whilst my other half demolished his burger and fries…even the dog got a ‘treat’…and I was mightily unimpressed as my fruit bag was forgotten. Humph! Anyway, we then popped to Morrisons – which is the only place locally I can get the Linda McCartney sausages – to stock up on some bits for today and for meals over the next few weeks. I then headed to babysit for a bit longer, whilst my other half headed home. My Mum arrived shortly after to take over, and had picked my niece up from nursery…who wouldn’t let me leave until I had read her a book and supervised the feeding of her lunch too. So there was more resistance building in the form of iced-gems, fridge raiders, white bread sandwiches and French fries! I was good though and headed home to rustle up a late lunch of noodle stir fry. The afternoon was spent doing lots of random things, which took up lots of time, yet I never really got around to doing anything productive. I am hoping for a quiet evening so I can catch up on a few more things!
Breakfast: Banana and a HiFi Light bar (3 syns).
Lunch: Low fat chicken Supernoodles and stir fry veggies with extra mushrooms!
Dinner: Two wholemeal rolls (2 x HEB) with two Quorn burgers (1 syn) and cheese (1 x HEA) served with syn free chips and salad.
Snacks: Two Scan Bran (2 syns) topped with tomato purée, garlic, herbs and cheese (1 x HEA) and two packets of French Fries (8 syns).
So, 14 syns today. I asked yesterday if anyone had spotted anything that could be hindering my weight loss, and a Slimming World consultant got in touch to mention my syns…saying that I wasn’t having enough of them. We sent a couple of messages and I decided to ring my consultant and have a chat with her about it too. She has been on the plan for thirteen years, and a consultant for ten years, and is amazing! I know she has been gently nudging me towards having more for my breakfasts – as my food tends to be loaded towards the end of the day…not in line at all of the old saying, ‘breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, and dine like a Pauper’! We chatted through the options and I am going to look at using a few extra syns on ‘healthier’ options, so perhaps an extra HEB choice for example. The reason for my syns being higher is down to my weight and the fact that I can eat more and still lose weight as my body uses up a lot more calories just existing (my basal metabolic rate is higher as my weight is higher). The danger of cutting down too much is that my body could go into starvation mode. Now this seems laughable considering my size; but imagine a ten stone lady who needs 2000kcals to maintain her weight, and then imagine me – at my current weight various calorie calculators say that I need anywhere between 4586 and 7028kcals to maintain my weight. If that ten stone lady cut her calories in half to lose weight we would think she was crazy…as your body, anyone’s body in fact, needs a minimum of 1200kcals to function – the energy is needed for breathing, for pumping blood around, for growing hair, nails, new skin. Yet I have been eating well under half of the recommended amount for my weight…and yes, I want to lose weight, and lose it fairly quickly, but I want to be sensible about it too. I don’t want to develop another set of unhealthy habits! So my head is spinning a bit – it seems counterproductive to eat more to lose weight, yet so many people have said that this is the case. I am in a bit of a quandary really now, but I trust my consultant and the experience she has had, so will give it a go. And thank you to the lovely Slimming World consultant for getting in touch via Facebook too – it is appreciated! Anyway, it was a Green day today, and I really enjoyed my food – a lovely tub of stir fry veggies, with extra mushrooms as I love them, and a packet of Supernoodles for lunch. And after the McDonalds torture session, I decided to enjoy some Quorn burgers for dinner. Probably the best food today was the Scan Bran pizzas…it was a bit random, but I thought I’d try them – just two scan bran for 2 syns, topped with tomato purée, garlic, herbs and cheese, and then blitzed in the microwave until the cheese melted – delicious!
That’s it then folks ‘Happy Humpday’ all…hope you’ve had a good one!
Weight Loss Bitch xxx
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Melanie used the following sites as references for her paper:
I checked out the cancer research website for the information on the stats: