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Thriving With Cancer

For my next few articles I am using guest bloggers. Some will be from the health field and others from different types of fields. I hope to allow a few others
to write about their particular expertise. If anyone has interest in writing for Jerseystrong please contact me with suggestions.

My first guest blogger is Melanie Bowen. Melanie Joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. Melanie also assists in social media outreach in her efforts to spread awareness. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.

http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/melanie/bio.htm

You Can Still Be Physically Active With Cancer!

Did you know that there is evidence that exercise can have a positive impact on recovery and survival? It does! People with mesothelioma, breast cancer and other types of cancer have reported more energy, a better quality of life, and a better sense of self-worth. People who exercise are more likely to survive longer and heal faster from surgery. If you want to know more about how exercise can help you, here are some tips!

1. Cancer Patients Who Exercise Have Better Outcomes
Sedentary peers simply do not have the same outcomes that people who exercise regularly do. Cancer patients who exercise at least once per week have a better chance to recover than those who don’t exercise at all. When women are using chemotherapy, they can prevent weight gain that is typically associated with the treatment. Obesity contributes to diabetes and heart disease, which can both lead to complications and make it more difficult to recover from cancer.

People who engage in weight-bearing exercise will increase bone density and lose six percent less than people who don’t. This will reduce the likelihood that you will break a bone if you fall from fainting, for example. Cancer patients should ensure that all aspects of their health are at their best to accelerate healing rates.

2. Aerobic Exercise Alleviates Symptoms
Patients undergoing radiation therapy may typically experience anemia, depression, and fatigue. Anemia is a condition that is difficult to balance, too much exercise can cause a patient to pass out and too little exercise can reduce the number of red blood cells produced. Studies by the American Cancer Society concluded that a single exercise session could help patients maintain red blood cell levels.

Participate in exercises like walking, water aerobics, step aerobics, jogging, and swimming to help the body to heal. Keep in mind that weights and stretching are also useful in recovery from cancer. Weight-bearing exercises can rebuild any muscle strength that is lost after surgery. Stretching can help to improve flexibility and range of motion, both important factors in cancer recovery as well.

Incorporate Physical Fitness Into Your Recovery
Don’t forget to incorporate physical fitness into your recovery program. This will help you recover faster from cancer and treatments. Most people find it difficult to exercise initially, but they do have more success as their exercise program progresses. Talk to your doctor today to develop the right plan and get moving!

Melanie Bowen

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Everything works…

but nothing works forever.  For those of us who are regular gym goers how often do we see someone do the same thing day after day, year after year.  These people will plateau mentally and physically.  In order to keep your body guessing you have to change-up your workout routines.  I recommend at least once a month to change your workout in some way.  This could mean that you go from high reps to low reps and heavier weight.  It could mean you leave the gym and take your workouts outside.  We all need rest and recovery.  When you lift weights your muscle fibers tear and this leads to growth.  Every now and then a new routine can help give those muscles time to fully recover.  Think of the options this gives you.

One of my favorite things to do on a recovery week is yoga.  When I say yoga a lot of people assume some sort of easy-going hippie workout with no real benefit.   While yoga does offer a mental clarity that lifting weights cannot, it is a serious workout.  Your muscles will burn and strengthen while they are being stretched.  Your body is designed to move in certain ways but our every day lives cause them to become tight.

Another way I like to get out of the gym and change-up my workout is by running.  I enjoy hitting the roads and going on a nice long run.  When I was heavier I did lift weights.  In fact, I could lift a lot more than I can now.  I used to be able to bench press 345 pounds.  Now I can’t even come near that but I am much more well-rounded and fit than I was before.  There is an expression “jack of all trades.  master of none”.  When it comes to working out this is completely not true.   You have to be a jack of all trades in order to continue your fitness growth.  If you try new things I promise you will always feel mentally challenged and physically challenged.   Work smarter not harder and your body will thank you for it.