Beauty Over Cancer

February 27, 2010, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Exercises, tips | Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome to Beauty Over Cancer – Exercise!  By coming here, it means you have taken a direct interest in caring for yourself during recovery – which includes daily exercise.  The most important benefits are:

  • modifying the risk of recurrence
  • improving and/or reducing the symptoms/side effects of chemical (chemo and radiation) therapy
  • enhancing immune/physical functions
  • restoring energy and sense of control in your life

There are a variety of ways to incorporate an exercise program into your daily schedule.  With any program, start slow and build up.  Unlike typical strength training programs, working to aerobic exhaustion or muscle fatigue is not the goal here.  The real goal is to make healthy physical activity a permanent lifestyle change.  For you, more is not necessarily better, but something is better than nothing.

When to Exercise

Start some form of physical activity as soon as possible – both before and during treatment.  In doing so, the side effects of treatment can be less debilitating.   Specifically, depression, fatigue, muscle weakness, nausea, difficulty sleeping, reduced bone density and poor body composition can be reduced with exercise.  By starting as soon as possible, you will have a stronger foundation to work from.

What Exercises to Do

Whether you have no equipment at home or have access to a gym, aerobic activity is fundamental to your program.  Anywhere from 150 – 180 minutes (2-1/2 to 3hrs.) total per week of moderate intensity is best.  Spreading this over a week, this rounds out to be about 20 to 25 continuous minutes per day.  Forms of aerobic activity could include walking, dancing, stationary bicycle, etc.  If possible, stay on your feet so as to help protect bone density.

In addition to aerobic exercise, moderate intensity resistance training (working with weights, bands or rubber tubing) can help maintain, if not also, improve stamina.  Exercises that involve the chest, back and legs are at the core.  Performing exercises that include these muscle groups will indirectly include other areas of the body – e.g. shoulders, arms and feet.  When you have less than normal stamina, focusing on the larger muscle groups will be more time efficient in the long run.

What Else to Consider?

Another important component to incorporate in your recovery is to eat an extremely healthy diet.  Eliminate anything that is processed with chemicals, refined, or in other words, has more unrecognizable ingredients than recognizable.  The brighter and darker the fruit or vegetable in its natural state, the better.  And, don’t forget water.  Our bodies are 70% water and it is even more important now to have drinking water within reach at all times.

Finally, don’t forget that you are not alone in your situation.  Your success will improve with support from others.  Connect up with a workout partner, look for exercise classes targeting cancer survivors, search on-line for websites to help you through.  That is why is here for you.

If you have any doubts about starting an exercise program, be sure to consult your doctor or oncologist.

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Your Diet Through Cancer
October 18, 2009, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Information | Tags: , , , ,


It is important to keep your body as healthy as possible while you are going through chemotherapy. This is something we should all do, but it is especially important during this time in your life. You will notice changes to your flavor preferences, smells, and even the sensitivity of your taste buds. Leslie Wade of CNN wrote an excellent article about the American Cancer Society’s book “What to Eat During Cancer Treatment”. Check out the link below: