Monday, August 8, 2011

Another reason to exercise

Perhaps I was actually doing something right. Before and during treatment, and even for a while after, I went for a daily walk. During treatment, I would drag my body outdoors to get some fresh air and exercise for a 30-45 minute walk. The only days I didn't go for a walk was when I was hospitalized. I may have been walking slower than before diagnosis, but I was moving.

I was always encouraged to do so by the doctors and nurses. Other people in treatment would look at me like I grew two heads - you mean you didn't stay home and take a nap? At the time I was doing it because it was part of my daily routine to go for a walk and cancer wasn't going to upset my routines - even if it screwed up the rest of my life. In addition, it helped with that lovely treatment side effect - constipation - that they never told you about.

Now, perhaps it looks like I was doing something right after all - they (the omnipresent) are recommending that exercise be part of cancer treatment. Patients should no longer be told to take it easy. Of course there is disagreement about how much benefit there is - whether it is a 40% risk reduction for a recurrence for breast cancer people or less - but they all agree exercise is good.

I admit I no longer go for a daily walk. The reason is a daily walk wasn't reducing my personal flabbiness level enough. Last winter I took a Pink Program exercise class offered at the local Y for the ginormous price of free for breast cancer people. Then I decided I needed more and joined a gym run by physical therapists where I get a personalized exercise program that takes into account all my personal health issues and limitations, is populated with an average age of 70, and oxygen tanks, walkers, and wheelchairs abound. When I go there three times a week, I do 40 minutes of cardio, followed by two sets of 15 of six exercises on machines, followed by more abuse with weights, etc and leave a sweating ball of exhausting after about 1.25 hours. My personal flabbiness level is being impacted by this so I am happy.

And now it looks like for once in my life I am doing something right. Today, we are back from a vacation where we managed to eat vast quantities of food with my husband's relatives and I am going to the gym after I face the loads of laundry that have piled up.

1 comment:

nancyspoint said...

Good for you for joining the gym! I am still trying to stick with the walking thing. I aim for two miles twice a day, but lately it's been so incredibly hot... I'm back on it now. Exercise is so important. I wish I liked it more, but it's one more thing I have to do.