A new study was presented today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium http://www.sabcs.org which looked at whether exercise could help relieve joint pain, a common side effect for women taking certain kinds of anti-cancer drugs, as well as for countless other humans as we move through the aging process.
As reported in today’s USA Today: “Researchers randomly assigned half of participants to a supervised exercise program, involving 2.5 hours of aerobic exercises such as walking, as well as two strength training sessions overseen by a coach with experience working with breast cancer survivors.
After a year, women assigned to the exercise program had pain scores that were 20% lower than at the start of the study. Pain scores for women in the control group, who followed their normal routines, fell 3% in the same time, according to the study, led by Melinda Irwin, who leads the Yale HOPE (Hormone & Physical Exercise) Study. Women who exercised more had better results.“
I am a firm believer in daily movement not only because I am a breast cancer survivor but also because I believe daily exercise is one of the easiest ways to maintain your health. Over and over this is proven in scientific studies.
Daily aerobic exercise will help you maintain your weight, strengthen your cardiovascular system, boost your energy and stamina, reduce stress and help elevate your mood. You will feel better about yourself overall if you engage in a fitness regimen,
For breast cancer survivors daily exercise will help prevent weight gain, a major risk factor for recurrence. Moreover, it will help reduce the risk for the chronic condition lymphedema and, as this study reports, will help counter the joint paint and stiffness that many women experience taking hormonal therapy breast cancer drugs (e.g., aromatese inhibitors). And if you are post menopausal, daily exercise is beneficial in clearing the mental fog that many women experience. I also find daily exercise keeps my intestinal track moving, helps reduce stomach bloat and gives me more reason to stay hydrated. I always have a full water bottle nearby when I exercise.
Daily exercise does not require joining a gym or buying expensive equipment. Brisk walking is one of the most effective things you can do. Or, pop in some music and start dancing. I am a big fan of resistance bands which I keep in my desk drawer. Another is taking 10 minute exercise breaks during the day to get up from your desk.
Here are five easy ways to add more movement to your day:
Morning: Instead of a “power breakfast” meeting suggest a “power walk” to discuss business. The late Steve Jobs was a big fan of taking long walks while discussing business.
Midday: If you live in a city, take a walk during lunch rather than eat at your desk. Crumbs in the computer keyboard are nasty anyway! If you work in an office park, talk a walk around the perimeter of the building. or start a walking club with your colleagues and meet up for lunch or after work.
If getting around requires a car, park a little farther away in the parking lot or down the street and walk the rest of the way to your destination. The same goes with taking subways and buses: get out one stop earlier and walk to your location.
Before bed: Take ten minutes to stretch and unwind any kinks in your joints, back or shoulders from the day.
Throughout the day: Put a timer on your desk and schedule movement breaks. Get up from your desk and do some jumping jacks, dance plies, push ups or a loop around the office. Take the steps instead of the elevator to get to your office. Many companies today are encouraging fitness break during the day. It’s not a sign of slacking off; it’s a way to boost your mood and productivity and stay healthy.
I believe that the two reasons obesity is a problem in the United States are: 1. Diet. It’s not only about eating too much sugar, sodium, fat and processed foods. It’s also about the fact that we simply eat too much. Our portions are super-sized and we reach for second helpings. 2, Sedentary lifestyle. Children and adults spend more hours hunched over computers and other devices instead of engaging in physical activity. The internet has given us more speed to engage socially with people through our computers; yet we are slowing down physically as a result.
How many studies will it take to convince Americans that sitting on their butts all day is nothing but trouble?
What’s stopping you?