Cancer Treatment Vastly Improved With Exercise & Diet Changes

It should be no secret that major lifestyle changes in diet and exercise can prolong your life and help prevent cancer. This article explores a slightly different scenario – exercise and diet changes while going through cancer treatment, and afterword.

This information is very encouraging. There is only one issue that many people still grapple with. And that is the motivation to change, even when you are confronted with a life-threatening disease. May I suggest you look outside yourself – to your family, your children. Why not change and live longer —  for them?

I was surprised when David Haas contacted me and asked about being a guest writer for Fit In My 50’s. He is passionate about helping people with cancer  live longer – and live with greater quality. Welcome! David!


David HaasCancer Exercise – Treatment in Motion  by David Haas

Many people believe that doing as little physical activity as possible during and after cancer treatment is a good idea, yet research indicates the opposite. Whether a person is receiving treatment for mesothelioma, breast cancer, or some other type of cancer, he or she is likely to benefit from exercise. Studies have shown that people who exercise moderately during and after cancer treatments have a significantly better chance of recovering from and not suffering another bout of cancer than those who do not exercise.

While exercise during and after treatments is beneficial, patients should still take a few precautions in order to exercise safely with cancer. Cancer patients should always discuss potential exercises with their physicians as doctors can often recommend specific exercises based on their perception of the patients’ energy levels. Patients should also avoid overexerting themselves; different cancer treatments can lead to different levels of weakness in different people, and some people do not react positively to strenuous exercise. Should a negative reaction occur, patients may want to try doing less strenuous exercises.

Light to moderate exercise often boosts cancer patients’ energy in spite of the rigorous nature of the treatment. Exercises that work the range of motion, for example, are often not too strenuous for cancer patients. Something as simple as drinking enough water can also help cancer patients, as proper hydration during any form of exercise is essential. Dehydration produces fatigue, and cancer treatments are tiring enough without suffering through a lack of water.

Patients must be aware of the specific nature of their cancer and treatments in order to know what exercises are off-limits. For example, someone who suffers from anemia should not engage in rigorous exercise. Those who are receiving treatments dealing with the lungs or heart should also be cautious when exercising as strenuous exercise can tax those organs too severely. Cancer patients who are taking blood thinners should also exercise caution when exercising since even a relatively small cut could prove dangerous.

One fairly popular exercise method for cancer patients is to perform exercises while sitting down. These movements are usually not too strenuous and do not require much in the way of cardiovascular activity. Riding bicycles are also popular pieces of exercise equipment for cancer patients for that reason, although not everyone will have the strength to pedal. Swimming is also often a good option for cancer patients because of the buoyancy caused by the water.

Regardless of what particular form of exercise cancer patients choose, many doctors and scientists agree that any bit of exercise–so long as it is not overly taxing–benefits recovery efforts after treatment. Not only does exercising help patients physically, but it can also help them overcome cancer treatment depression.


Exercise improves quality of life during breast cancer treatment

Women undergoing treatment for breast cancer might fight off distressing side effects and improve psychological well-being by staying off the couch. According to the University of Miami (UM) study, women who are physically active during treatment have less depression and an enhanced quality of life and report less debilitating fatigue.

Women who are physically active may also have more confidence in their own ability to continue with family-related, household, work-related, or social activities, which bring meaning and satisfaction to their lives,” says Jamie M. Stagl, M.S., doctoral student in Clinical Health Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at UM and lead author of the study. “This may lead to appraisals of lower fatigue, heightened quality of life, and less depression.


Riding the Road to Recovery – benefits of exercise during cancer

I have listed some relevant scholarly articles at the end of this post to help you learn more and exercise and its benefits during cancer treatment. I am looking forward, dear readers, to hear your thoughts about exercise as an adjunct to  cancer treatment.

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Climbing Stairs – Beats Jogging and It’s Quicker!

I want to encourage you – any time you need to go upstairs in a building – don’t take the elevator. Find the stairwell, and your body and mind will appreciate the few more minutes that it takes. This is a wonderful article about the huge benefits of regular stair climbing.
STAIRBy Nancy Bruning 

My most recent article was all about how you can use the steps and step streets in northern Manhattan as part of your fitness plan.

As a reminder, the reasons you’d want to climb stairs at every opportunity include: it’s a low-impact alternative to running; it builds muscles in your lower body; it improves your endurance; it increases your metabolism and helps burn fat; it’s efficient; and its’ free.

In this article, I’ll add a little-known surprising benefit that I didn’t know about until recently.

In case you haven’t noticed, we have lots of indoor steps too and that means we have a health club wherever there are stairs.

Why not take advantage of this convenient exercise tool—whether at home, at work, or at school? I often recommend this tactic to my clients who have trouble fitting formal exercise sessions into their busy lives, or can’t afford health clubs or don’t like them. You’d be surprised how easy it is to sneak in a couple of stairs here and there throughout the day. Because stair climbing is more intense than walking, and every little bit counts, you don’t need to do it for very long to reap the benefits.

For the past six years, The New York City Department of Health has partnered with The New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects on a yearly conference, “Fit City.” Each year, key thinkers and practitioners discuss how we can make the city more fitness friendly. Part of the plan is to creatively re-think building design in order to encourage people to take the stairs whenever they can, instead of the elevator or escalator.

One recurring theme has been to encourage architects to design buildings with staircases that are located up front, and elevators towards the back (the opposite of what we have been seeing). They also could be more attractive to be in, with windows or skylights, or retrofitted with artwork and pleasant colors.

I remember one year, the staircase at fashionista Diane von Furstenberg’s new offices were presented—the hope was that by making the stairs an open design and decorating it with hundreds (thousands?) of Swarovski crystals, employees would be more likely to scamper up and down the staircases.

Dr. Karen Lee, Director of the Built Environment at the New York City Health Department, believes that, “Daily stair use is an easy and inexpensive way for people to incorporate physical activity into their life. Stair climbing is a vigorous activity that can burn more calories per minute than jogging. Just two minutes a day has been calculated to burn enough calories to prevent the average yearly weight gains seen in U.S. adults. ”

That’s pretty impressive!

According to Dr. Lee, “The NYC Health Department has been working with building owners and managers to get more stairs in buildings opened up for daily use. We also make available for free by calling 311 simple and effective signs that building owners and managers can post at elevators and escalators to encourage people to ‘Burn Calories, Not Electricity. Take the Stairs!'”

And it seems that simply posting the signs really works, according to Dr. Lee’s study, which was recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Signs were posted in three different types of buildings. Right after the signs were posted, stair use increased 9.2% at a health clinic, 34.7% at an academic building and 33.6% at an affordable housing site. At the health clinic and affordable housing units the signs were left in place, and increased stair use was pretty much maintained at a nine-month follow-up.

While delighted with these results of indoor stairs, Dr. Lee reminds us, “Additional opportunities in NYC such as outdoor street steps can also be incorporated into your daily routine when you encounter them or into an intentional exercise routine.”

In case you find climbing stairs to daunting for some reason, don’t worry—it’s also good for you to go DOWN the stairs. In fact, going down the stairs is actually better for you than going up—in some ways. Studies show that while climbing up stairs (or walking uphill) is a great way to get a cardiovascular workout and lower triglycerides, descending the stairs (or walking downhill) is a better way to help control blood sugar—which could help stave off diabetes, or contribute to controlling it if you already have blood sugar problems.

Going either up or down helps reduce LDL cholesterol.

Stuart Dean, a local yoga/qigong instructor, says, “Walking down stairs actually works the leg muscles in a way that is quite different from climbing stairs.” It has to do with the way the muscles are worked—simply put, going up they contract, going down they stretch.

Dean continues, “It seems that when you do stretch work you are engaging a very different set of neural pathways and calling upon a very different set of nutrients than you otherwise do. Science has a long way to go in understanding this but it seems that the chemistry underlying stretch work helps counteract and possibly prevent the breakdown of internal metabolism that results in some types of diabetes.”

He also points out that the injuries resulting when an older person falls often are ultimately fatal. “And stairs are often where those falls occur, especially when going down them. As it turns out, though, it is possible that the reason elderly people tend to fall down stairs is that they have not been doing enough stretch work. Ironically, then, it seems that the elderly should be practicing going down stairs!”

Dean offers some tips on going down stairs: Never have your hands in your pockets; always try to have at least one hand free; and if you are over 50, try to stay at least near the side of the stairs and the handrail if there is one.

So, if you have diabetes or if you are over, say, 50, talk to your health care provider about exercise that emphasizes stretch work (you might want to use the phrase ‘eccentric muscle contraction’ to get their attention, since this is what it is called in technical language).

Just for fun, if you start climbing stairs in earnest, you might like to know that many major cities hold tower running or stair race events in their most notable tall buildings, including the Empire State Building in New York.

And there’s an app called Monumental to track your steps and translate that into climbing a real Monument, such as Mount Olympus, and challenge your friends to compete. It then supplies you with views and allows you to share your achievement on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information and to download the NYC Department of Health sign to print and post in your building:

Nancy Bruning has a master’s degree in public health, is a certified personal trainer, and is the author or co-author of over 25 books on health and fitness. Her next book, “Nancercize: 101 Things to Do on a Park Bench” will soon be published. She also is the Chair of the Friends Committee of the Fort Tryon Part Trust and leads “Nancercize” outdoor fitness experiences and weight loss workshops. Visit Nancy’s web site at, hear her at, or email her at .

Thanks to Manhattan Times for this interesting post.

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59 Year-old Woman Aerobic Trainer Looks Better Than You

I have found it real inspiring to have role models in life, whether in business, relationships or staying fit. If someone else can exercise when they are 60,  why shouldn’t I be able to? If I learn about a person my age or older running a marathon, I am inspired to at least see if I can run a 5K- with a lot of training, of course.

So here are a few real inspiring stories of women who are doing more than most women half their age.  If this inspires you to action, leave a comment below, and let us know your story, OK?

59 Year Old Woman Looks & Trains Better Than You

Meet Rayca, the 59 year old woman who looks better, trains smarter, and lifts more than most women half her age. Not exactly what you’d expect an almost 60 year old woman to look like, huh? a woman who rows and squats and deadlifts and bench presses and just generally trains correctly overall, what advice would you give to the majority of women out there who think the key to getting the body they want (“fit and toned”) involves hours and hours of aerobics classes and doing

Publish Date: 01/31/2012 12:57



Carol Evans, now 81 years old and student of Master Coach-Kevin Jodrey, performs a 10 minute Long Cycle set.

Carol had a terrible inner ear infection as a kid and lost a good portion of her equilibrium and hearing as a result. Always a very strong woman, both mentally and physically, she had gotten bored with normal gym fare and thought she might try the kettlebell class we offered-and she loved it. Carol began using a 10 pound bell for short sets and eventually got up to short jerk sets with the 12kg and 30/30 in the swing with the 12kg. She went over 180 in the snatch in ten minutes with one switch using the 8kg ball. She trained 4 days a week for 14 months.

For more information on American Kettlebell Club, visit:


Kirstie Alley And Her Triumph Over Dropping Pounds

The renowned 60 year old Hollywood celebrity is actually considering getting married to someone more youthful, lively, courageous along with brave. Surprisingly, she appears more youthful, hotter along with more sexy than

Publish Date: 02/05/2012 2:25

Fit Hero: 60YearOld Trainer Barbara McKeon

So this week we’re celebrating Barbara McKeon, an incredible 60 year old fitness instructor (whose birthday just happens to be today!) who says her That class was successful and soon I began teaching it regularly. Then I

Publish Date: 10/26/2011 9:38


Wales’ Oldest Female Fitness Instructor – Welsh Icons News

Peggy Sullivan is Wales’ oldest female aerobics instructor – and has no plans to retire in the near future!

Despite celebrating her 80th birthday on Sunday, 5 February, Peggy says she sees no reason to stop doing what she loves, with her weekly classes in Rhondda Cynon Taf still pulling in large crowds of keep-fit fanatics.

While many people of her age would be quite content to sit back and take it easy, Peggy is the perfect ambassador of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Leisure for Life campaign.

Her classes at the Michael Sobell Sports Centre in Aberdare are proving as popular as ever, with more and more people than ever before turning to a Rhondda Cynon Taf Leisure Centre in 2012.

Leisure for Life is a highly-successful Rhondda Cynon Taf Council campaign that aims to get people of all ages active and undertaking exercise in a bid to improve their health and well being.

It is all about talking simple steps to make exercise part of your daily routine and reaping the benefits alongside potential weight loss, enhanced fitness, muscle gain or even improved socialisation.

Publish Date: 02/04/2012 10:26

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Is walking a great way to stay in shape?

walking for exerciseWalking is a wonderful way to easily get a lot of exercise. I once walked for 14 months straight – every single day – rain, shine, snow or ice.  This gave me a lot more confidence knowing I can stick to an exercise program – if I really want to.

I have discovered through not only walking, but reading quite a bit on the subject, that 45 minutes is the optimum time for your walk. Sure, if you only have 15 minutes, that’s OK. But if you can, build up to 30 minutes per day, and then to 40 and 45 minutes.  This will give you the optimum cardio and aerobic exercise.

I found a few articles that will help you out if you are contemplating starting a walking program. Let me know what you are doing, and if you also find that walking is a wonderful habit to help you stay fit.

Top Ten Summer Physical Fitness Ideas!

Summer is fast approaching, here is actually our top ten checklist for making come july 1st your own fitness and best yet!

  • One. Set a goal. It may be to run the 5k or to lose a stone. Then break your ultimate goal into more compact portions, such as a every week instruction plan or perhaps a weekly weight loss target. Write your own objectives and focuses on lower and set all of them someplace you can see it everyday as a reminder to maintain going.
  • 2. Reveal your ultimate goal along with friends and family, you could even go a measure further a post your ultimate goal upon Facebook. This will make you responsible for your actions and you are more likely to not give up….read more.

A Walk A Day

The popularity of walking as a fitness activity has grown by leaps and bounds. Low-risk and easy to start, walking has proven its health benefits in numerous studies. An eight-year study of 13,000 people found that those who walked 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised. In addition, research has shown that regular walking can decrease total and intra-abdominal fat and reduce your risk of developing diabetes or breast cancer.

A regular walking program can also:

  • Improve your cholesterol profile
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase your energy and stamina
  • Boost “couch potato” bone strength
  • Prevent weight gain

Experts at the CDC and National Institute of Health recommend that every American adult engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity just about every day of the week. One way to meet this standard is to walk 2 miles briskly (about 4 miles/hr). If this is too fast,choose a more comfortable pace.

Get Ready

A walking program is simple to start. All you need are comfortable clothes and supportive shoes. Layer loose clothing, keeping in mind that brisk exercise elevates the body’s temperature. Shoes specifically designed for walking or running are best. Make sure you have a little wiggle room between your longest toe (1/2″) and the end of the shoe. Avoid cotton socks since they….read more..

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