Tips for Physical Activity
You are probably sick and tired of hearing about the importance of moderate physical exercise for women who have had breast cancer. (It is also suggested as a way to reduce risk of breast cancer, but that it shutting the barn door after the horse for us.) The summary statement is that regular moderate exercise seems to reduce the recurrence risk after most kinds of cancer.
We all are aware of the other health benefits of exercise: weight control, muscle strengthening, cardiac benefits. Add the possibility that it may help prevent a recurrence, and that should get us all lacing up our sneakers. It is reassuring and calming to note that this does not mean that you need to train for a marathon--just get out there and walk.
From ASCO's Cancer Net comes this helpful and practical article. I give you the start and a link to read more:
Physical Activity: Suggestions and Tips
• Regular physical activity may help lower your risk of cancer, as well as improve your quality of life and mood.
• Most people should participate in some type of physical activity to improve and maintain their health, although the
duration and intensity of activity will differ for each person.
• Talk with your doctor or another member of the health care team about an appropriate exercise program.
Defining different levels of activity
Moderate and vigorous activities can be done in many different places, including at home, outside, or in a gym.
Moderate activities. During a moderate exercise, you should expect to breathe as hard as you would when walking quickly.
You should be able to talk, but would prefer not to. Walking is a great, moderate activity. Other examples of moderate activities include biking and housework.
Vigorous activities. During a vigorous activity, your heart will beat faster and you will be breathing more heavily and sweating. Examples of vigorous activities include jogging or running and swimming.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society provide the following recommendations for participating in a physically active lifestyle.
• Be moderately active, in addition to other daily activities, for at least 150 minutes or vigorously active for at least 75 minutes each week; it is best to spread these activities throughout the week
• To lose weight, participate in moderate to vigorous activity 60 minutes per day on most days of the week.
• Exercise for several shorter sessions if you don't have the time or energy for a longer session. The health benefits of several short, 10-minute segments are similar to a one longer session of exercise.
• Start slow if you are new to exercise and gradually increase the length and intensity of your physical activity to 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day.
• Aim for a body mass index (BMI; the ratio of a person’s weight and height) between 18.5 and 25.
• Avoid weight gain if you are not underweight.