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    Julesmom asked a questionBreast Cancer

    Exercising.....Are you able to get up enough energy to go exercise? I can't seem to get into a routine that gives me energy to do it.

    6 answers
    • MLT's Avatar

      I did the Livestrong program at the Y, for anyone who has had cancer. They work with you at your level. Only missed one class on a chemo day. Sometimes it was a struggle, but needed after vegatating last winter. I do still have days when I can barely move, usually depends on my hemoglobin level. Any movement is good.

      11 days ago
    • msndrstood's Avatar

      After chemo, radiation and surgery I lost a lot of weight, I mean like 100 lbs. It was an incentive to move for me. Like Lynne, I got a fitness tracker on Amazon for $30 and just started watching how much I walked. When spring came, I walked our back acre, when it got too hot in the sun, I walked up and down our 300 foot driveway in the shade. When it got too hot to walk in the summer months, I decided to join Planet Fitness and walk on the treadmill and the exercise bike. I'm still not able to do any upper body work outs because of constant muscle spasms post double mastectomy, but walking is definitely my thing. I started out at 1.6 mph and could only last 20 minutes. After 4 months I'm up to 3.3 mph, 4% incline and walk for 50 minutes, then I do 40 minutes on the bike. I'm 21 lbs from my goal weight and I haven't felt this good in 35 years.

      I agree with everyone else, find something you don't mind doing, and start slow. You'll get to where you want to be but you don't have to get there in a hot minute. Be gentle with yourself, go slow and see how it goes. Good luck!

      10 days ago
    • msndrstood's Avatar

      Just an addendum... I also have MS which makes walking a challenge at times, I tend to drift when I walk so I hold on to the hand rail for dear life. In the beginning I let go once and almost flew off the back of the treadmill!

      10 days ago
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    Julesmom posted an update

    Another article that says we should exercise more. How do we do that when I have a hard time even getting out of a chair?

    Multinational Consensus Panel Confirms Benefits of Exercise, Updates Recommendations for Cancer Survivors

    There is one prescription that is applicable to almost everyone, healthy or not: Exercise. “Use it or lose it,” we say. “Movement is life,” we hear.

    Exercise is especially helpful to cancer survivors — a population that is happily ever increasing. There are now more than 15.5 million cancer survivors in this country, and that number continues to rise.1 However, although the benefits of exercise are becoming increasingly clear, actually putting it into practice can be difficult for someone who is fatigued, older, or returning to work while continuing to cope with their disease as well as comorbidities.

    Although in the past cancer patients were advised to rest and remain inactive, that changed in 2010 when guidelines advising the opposite were drawn up by experts in exercise and oncology. At that time, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) met with oncology specialists and concluded that studies of survivors of breast and prostate cancers showed clear benefit from participating in exercise programs. These experts found that such programs improved survivors’ physical functioning and fitness, helped with their cancer-related fatigue, and generally enhanced their quality of life. Those preliminary recommendations have been updated by subsequent research; since then, results of more than 2500 randomized controlled trials on the importance of exercise have been published.

    Support for Exercise Programs During, After Cancer Treatment
    The 2018 ACSM International Multidisciplinary Roundtable on Physical Activity and Cancer Prevention and Control convened international exercise and rehabilitation professionals to update current evidence-based recommendations. Forty representatives from 20 worldwide organizations were in attendance. Their goals were to cover: 1) the role of exercise in cancer prevention and control; 2) the efficacy of exercise to improve cancer-related health outcomes (acute, late, and long-term effects); and 3) the translation of evidence into clinical and community settings. Attendees provided new evidence-based prescriptions for exercise testing and training using the acronym FITT — frequency, intensity, time, type.

    The program included safety precautions and other considerations specifically for cancer survivors. The guidelines based each exercise prescription on research that identified the optimal type, intensity, or frequency of exercise, and classified FITT prescriptions based on whether the supporting evidence was strong, moderate, or insufficient.

    Anxiety The exercise prescription for reducing anxiety in cancer survivors is moderate-intensity aerobics 3 times per week for 12 weeks or twice a week for 6 to 12 weeks if resistance training is added. Resistance training by itself does not reduce anxiety.

    Depressive symptomatology This effect is significantly reduced with the same prescription of moderate-intensity aerobics 3 times a week for at least 12 weeks or twice a week for 6 to 12 weeks if resistance training is added. Resistance training by itself does not reduce depressive symptoms.

    Cancer-related fatigue Moderate-intensity aerobics 3 times a week for at least 12 weeks can significantly reduce cancer-related fatigue both during and after cancer treatment. Adding resistance training can be effective, particularly for patients with prostate cancer.

    Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) Moderate-intensity aerobics combined with resistance exercise 2 to 3 times a week for at least 12 weeks can lead to improved HRQOL during and after treatment.

    Lymphedema A progressive resistance program focused on large muscle groups 2 to 3 times a week with the caveat of “start low, progress slow” is safe; importantly, the Roundtable stresses that a fitness professional supervise these sessions. There is not enough evidence supporting aerobic exercise in lymphedema to draw conclusions.

    Physical function Self-reported physical function can improve with moderate intensity aerobics, resistance training, or both modalities combined 3 times a week for 8 to 12 weeks. Again, supervised exercise is the most effective.

    Moderate Evidence of Benefit

    Bone health, sleep Exercise may improve bone health and sleep in some situations. However, results of recent research in cancer survivors concluded that evidence of exercise improving bone health and sleep has been inconsistent.

    Insufficient Evidence of Benefit

    Evidence on the benefits of exercise for several conditions is insufficient. The researchers stress that further research is needed to determine the benefits of exercise on cardiotoxicity, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), cognitive function, falls, nausea, pain, sexual function, and treatment tolerance.

    Moving Through Cancer: Recommendations

    The ACSM initiated the “Moving Through Cancer” program to help clinicians worldwide recommend and incorporate exercise into their patients’ prevention and treatment plans. The new recommendations include:

    Exercise is important for all adults for the prevention of cancer, and specifically lowers risk of 7 common types of cancer: colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophagus, and stomach;
    Cancer survivors should incorporate exercise into their day-to-day routine to help improve survival after a diagnosis of breast, colon, or prostate cancer;
    Exercising during and after cancer treatment improves fatigue, anxiety, depression, physical function, and quality of life, and does not exacerbate lymphedema.
    Research that will drive the integration of exercise into the standard of care for cancer needs to continue;
    The increasingly robust evidence base on the positive effects of exercise for cancer patients should be translated into practice.

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