I Am So Tired! I Must Do More?

Research shows that there is a role for exercise in cancer care. Exercise when fighting during or after breast cancer treatment increases stamina, improves cardiovascular fitness, increases muscle strength, improves body composition, lowers fatigue and anxiety, reduces depression, increases self-esteem, happiness, and several quality-of-life factors in cancer survivors. With all these positive benefits, why not give it a try? It can only benefit you!

During my journey and currently, I engage in exercise at least 6x’s/week. This helps to improve my mood by giving me a sense of well-being. I know that I’m using behaviors that will benefit me and enrich my quality-of-life. The key is to start slowly and not push yourself. Exercise with frequent breaks, even for a short amount of time will help you build your endurance. After rehabbing from my brain cancer metastasis surgery, I would walk with my walker. The first walk was to the corner. The second was a little further. Before I knew it, I was down the street and around the corner. So Freeing! I walked at the same pace throughout. But to increase your endurance, you can walk quickly for 10 min, slow down, then walk quickly again for another 10 mins, repeating this cycle until you have completed 30 minutes of invigorating exercise.

The goal is to have your exercise program help you keep up your muscle strength and keep you able to do the things you want and need to do. Even if it’s mundane things like doing laundry or walking up stair, it can be made into a work-out with multiple reps which will benefit you physically and mentally.

The exercises I do are simple. I use the exercises given to me while in physical therapy. I increased the reps over time. Some suggestions to get started are:
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Taking walks
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In-pool walking/exercises
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Sit-ups
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Sit-ups Alterative: sit in a hard-backed chair with your chest tall and shoulder blades pulled back. Then, try to tighten your abdominal muscles and sit in this position for as long as possible. Be careful not to hold your breath. Start with 2 to 3 minutes. Work up to maintaining this posture when you drive a car or walk across the room.
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Leg Lifts
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Yoga poses/stretches

Do not exercise above a moderate level of exertion without talking with your doctor.

Enjoy Your Hard Work and Freedom!