first_imgBY EMMET RUSHE: Relay for life is upon us again.It is in its fourth year in Donegal and is sure to be another fantastic event, so be sure to land in and give your support in any way possible.Last year I was honoured to have been asked to talk at the ‘Fight Back Conference’.My talk was on the benefits of exercise during and after cancer treatment. This message is as important today as ever.In Ireland;• One in three people will develop cancer during their lifetime.• An average of 30,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year.• This number is expected to rise to over 40,000 people by 2020.• 50% of all cancers are preventable.• 30% through lifestyle changes.If you’re becoming more active during or after cancer treatment, you’ll need to consider how much activity is appropriate for you.This will depend on different things, for example, any side effects or symptoms you may have and your level of fitness before treatment.It is important to set yourself realistic goals and to listen to your body and you should start with gentle and low intensity activities.You’ll be able to build up progressively as you become stronger and fitter. There are a number of tips that can help you to get started.They’ll also help you stay motivated;∗ Join an activity group or association.∗ Walk or cycle to the shops.∗ Keep a record of how active you’ve been.∗ Set goals you can achieve.∗ Take up activities you enjoy. Make sure they are fun.∗ Tell your friends about it. They may want to join you.The activities you do will depend on different factors. Make sure you keep to the level of activity that is appropriate for you and choose activities you enjoy and, if possible, do a mix of activities:∗ Aerobic exercises – walking, dancing, running, cycling or swimming – are good for heart health.∗ Resistance exercises – lifting small weights or ‘sit to stand’ exercises that you can do at home – help strengthen muscle.∗ Flexibility exercises – stretches, yoga, Tai Chi/ Qi Gong – improve suppleness. These are also great for balance.If you are living with advanced cancer, being physically active can benefit you. It can help improve symptoms such as tiredness, poor appetite and constipation.It reduces stress and helps you sleep better. Start slowly and gradually build up the amount you do.To begin with, try to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting or lying down. Just moving around the house and doing simple day to day things will help.You may be able to manage short walks or gentle stretching exercises.See if you can get your family and friends to join in with you. Resistance exercises can help strengthen your muscles and bones. This helps with getting in and out of chairs or baths, going up and down stairs, and going shopping.It also helps reduce the risk of accidentally falling. There are chair-based exercises that can help improve your muscle strength and flexibility.There is much evidence from research and studies to prove the positive effects of physical activity on sufferers of cancer;An RCT in Glasgow offered a 12-week group exercise sessions for women with early stage breast cancer as an addition to standard care.The study found significant improvements in physical functioning, active daily living, shoulder range of movement, cardio-vascular fitness, positive mood, and breast cancer-specific quality of life. There were no adverse effects reported.There was also evidence that the intervention group spent fewer nights in hospital and made fewer visits to their GP than the control group.It’s important to get advice before you start becoming more active.Your cancer doctor, GP or specialist nurse can tell you what type of exercise is most appropriate for you.You can also get support from a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist.Your physiotherapist can show you exercises that will help improve your fitness and an occupational therapist can show you ways to help you to save your energy so that you can take some gentle physical activity.Physical activity throughout the cancer care pathway should be promoted to patients at all stages of cancer; from initial diagnosis through to the later stages, where being active can continue to benefit physical function and quality of life.The evidence shows that if an activity recommendation is carefully tailored to the individual, and takes account of potential side effects, it is likely to have a positive impact.Physical activity should be guided first and foremost by your medical advisors. If you seek guidance and support from a professional trainer, it is essential that you keep them informed of your condition and treatment. Your trainer should be happy to communicate with your care provider to ensure the most suitable activity programme for you.#TrainSmartIf you are unsure how to start or would like to join a friendly and supportive team, contact me through the link below. RUSHE’ FITNESS COLUMN: READY FOR RELAY FOR LIFE was last modified: June 3rd, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:emmet rushefitness columnRelay for Lifelast_img read more