Month: March 2014

Weekly walking challenge

Welcome everybody today, I hope this blog has been helpful in inspiring and motivating people throughout their journeys to take that step and engage in healthy lifestyles. 

I would firstly like to say that today is an important day for me, I have just submitted my thesis on my previous 2 years of work with the ovarian cancer ladies in Sydney, so I am a very happy camper! But that will not stop me writing!

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So I am feeling good and celebrated with a gym weights session, an indoor soccer match and a yum home-cooked dinner. 

I would like put forward to everyone here, a weekly exercise challenge. Now I must stress here, I cannot give specific targets to individuals without having a good chat with you, but I can provide general recommendations, such as the ones released by the American Cancer Society below:

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Moderate intensity = heart rate/breathing rate increases so having a conversation is challenging

Vigorous intensity = working hard enough that you cannot sustain conversation.

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Lets aim for moderate intensity. 150 minutes we can break up throughout the week, so we are generally looking at 30 minute walks on 5 days per week. But if its been a while since you’ve gone out there, try 10-15 minute sessions first and build up. You can do it.

Now to keep you accountable, keep an activity diary and fill it in daily like the one below:

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Simple. So you can plan and try a match/beat your previous weeks. I did this with the women in my study and once in a nice routine, they could increase their programs and make it more challenging.

Give it a week and see how you go, aim for that 150 for the week. Here’s how mine may look for the week 

Mon – indoor soccer pm (40 min)

Tues – gym weights (40 min)

Wed – run/cycle (30-40 min)

Thurs – gym weights (40 min)

Fri – rest

Sat – rest (or light jog on Bondi Beach)

Sun – Soccer match – 90 mins

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Now I do play a fair amount of sport, but a goal of mine – and a goal of YOURS is to AVOID inactivity. try avoid having too many days in the week with no exercise, even small walks are beneficial to how you may start to feel.

As a reminder, here are some of the possible benefits from partaking in regular exercise from the American Cancer Society:

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Get out there, small walks at a time and build up.

 

Now please get back to me with how you went as it would be great to encourage other survivors with your efforts! (comments or e-mails!)

 

As always, please share this with a loved one, or encourage a friend to walk, or like this page and tell yourself you can do it – because you can!

 

David

Exercise physiologist, blogger, researcher, soccer player

E: d.mizrahi@unsw.edu.au

Twitter: @davemiz_EP

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Encourage a friend, a family member, a loved one

Thanks for the overwhelming response in readership I have received over the past few weeks from all around the world, it is great that there is growing interest in taking charge and moving forward after diagnosis. I would like to use this post to try and get the word out, to share some lifestyle tips and provide encouragement to those who have been affected by cancer. My previous posts have highlighted that exercise is safe and provides numerous evidence-based benefits during various treatment types and after treatment. 

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Today, I would like all of my readers to share this blog with somebody they know – a friend, a family member, a work colleague, through Facebook, Twitter, email or word of mouth, who has had somebody in their lives (as so many of us have) affected by cancer. I want them to know that they are not alone in their journey, that there are many people, including myself, a complete stranger, who is willing to help improve their quality of life. 

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By connecting the community, we can share each others stories, experiences, challenges and triumphs – and that can be valuable to encourage people. I wish to gain peoples stories from diagnosis and thereafter, including how they began to exercise, what routines they got in, their likes/dislikes etc. so people who come along earlier into their journey can have some inspiration. 

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In the chemotherapy suits last year at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, one of my patients who I had trained, was telling other ladies with ovarian cancer in the clinic how she had built up over the previous 6 months and was attempting her first City2Surf run (14km charity run). I was so impressed with her, she was so proud of herself. Although she stopped halfway for a coffee to enjoy the beautiful Sydney harbour views, it was a most amazing accomplishment. 

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Recruitment for my study went through the roof after that. Women were asking around the clinics to sign up, it was a great advertisement for living a healthy lifestyle, despite undergoing chemotherapy every week, and an example of a great supportive network.

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It is this power that I want to use by connecting people so we can share stories, read stories, have the inspiration to try go for a long walk, to have the inspiration to try and jog on the beach, to be inspired to go to a yoga class or a gym class, to ask my doctor what exercise services are on offer. 

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Please follow and share this with somebody who can benefit, who can re-gain strength and get more out of life, and feel free to get in touch with any questions, comments or stories you may have. 

As always,

Your Exercise Physiologist,

David

Twitter: @davemiz_EP

E-mail: d.mizrahi@unsw.edu.au

 

 

Yoga reduces fatigue and improves vitality for breast cancer – time to get stretching

It has been a few crazy weeks since i’ve posted after spending many late nights trying to finish my thesis, as well as putting together presentations for conferences around Australia coming up, but I have found time as I really wanted to promote an article I read in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that was published this year titled:

Yoga’s Impact on Inflammation, Mood, and Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Controlled Trial by Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser

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Now, I personally do not engage regularly in yoga – I have on occasion and really enjoyed it, and really do promote it to women, people with back issues or core-stability weakness and those who like a group environment. Not only is it relaxing, there are emerging benefits coming from scientific research which is great.

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This study made women partake in Hatha yoga for 2x 90 minute sessions per week for 12 weeks. This is a fair amount to partake in, and a realistic place to start an exercise program.

Here were the benefits: Reduced fatigue, increased vitality as well as a range of blood-markers associated with fatigue and inflammation (IL6, TNFa).

Thats pretty impressive!

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By partaking in regular yoga, you can allow yourself to feel better, have more energy, get out there in the world, live life again, take control, be who you want to be!

If you are considering getting back to your old yoga classes or starting a new one, dont try and rush to complete the most complex stretches straight away. Ease into things at a basic level for the first couple of weeks. Once your body is comfortable, then you can start to challenge yourself.

You can do it! One stretch at a time!

Below is a link to the article:

http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/early/2014/01/21/JCO.2013.51.8860.short