La Jolla Sports Club discusses beneficial exercises for breast cancer prevention, as well as ideas for during and after treatment
Welcome to part two of our breast cancer awareness series. If you haven’t had a chance to put some eyeballs on our last post, please take a few minutes and catch up. It’s chock full of information and a good primer for what’s about to come your way.
Cancer sucks. But, as we discussed last week, it’s not all doom and gloom, and technology and research have come a long, long way in terms of success and survivor rates. One of the biggest takeaways from our last post was that exercise: helps stave off cancer (the National Cancer Institute found the average breast cancer risk reduction associated with physical activity was 12%); increases quality of life during treatment (Harvard metastudy); and decreases breast cancer recurrence (NCI, Harvard and plenty of other institutions). Not too shabby for a thing that is free and you can almost literally do anywhere in the world.
As we’ve talked about many times in these La Jolla Sports Club blogs, in addition to improving the immune system, reducing inflammation and preventing obesity—all of which can be precursors to cancer themselves—physical activity can help lower hormones (such as estrogen) that have been associated with the development and progression of breast cancer.
How Much Exercise?
While there is not a magic number, The American Cancer Society recommends at least 150mins of moderate exercise (or 75mins of vigorous exercise) a week.
Moderate exercise would be walking down to La Jolla cove, casually riding your bike around Mission Bay, dancing or trying your La Jolla Sports Club classes (pilates included). Vigorous exercise would be running, cycling, soccer and tennis or any of your LJSC high-intensity classes.
Going through treatment can be a pretty lonely experience, which is why you need a support system. Classes can be a GREAT support system, and will help get you moving when your energy levels are low or your motivation isn’t exactly top-notch. Getting moving with friends can help enrich your social life, which, in turn, helps boost your mood, which, in turn, helps boost your outlook—and a positive outlook is a key component to recovery.
Not an LJSC member? Find a hiking group! Find a tennis buddy! Find a swimming class at the Coggan Aquatic Center! Whatever it is, find something you like—or maybe something new—and go do it with supportive people. Empowerment through social support cannot be understated.
Get clearance from your doctor
- Exercise at your own pace and pleasepleaseplease listen to your body
- You will be limited, especially at first, so try to keep that in mind as you’re rebuilding your body
- Even if it’s leg lifts or arm circles or shuffling down the hall, try to get your blood moving
- Find little ways to include some extra exercise
- Take the stairs when you can
- Park just a liiiiiittle further away from the supermarket
- Have a face-to-face meeting with your coworker instead of an email
- Not just for counting steps, your Fitbit and iWatch can remind you to get up and move around, in addition to keeping a pulse on your pulse
- Take your pup for a longer walk each day
- Try to limit your sitting and sedentary times
- Again, listen to your body—rest is important—but getting your blood flowing is important for delivering oxygen and the good juju to your body
- Self-conscious about the effects of chemo when you’re exercising? Don’t be!
- You might be surprised who you inspire
Dealing with breast cancer will never be easy, but know you have your own support system built into La Jolla Sports Club. Our group instructors and personal trainers have hundreds of years of combined experience, but more importantly, all of them are here because they want to help, and are quite good at doing so. Don’t be shy, we look forward to helping you!
See you next post, and have a great, safe, fun Halloween!
// Your friends at La Jolla Sports Club