Online Fitness Coaching: Getting Fit in Spite of Cancer

As I write this post Penn State University is holding THON one of the biggest student fundraisers in the nation for The Four Diamonds Fund.  Money (78 million to date) goes to Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital to help fight childhood cancer.   It seems like the perfect time to welcome my next guest blogger, David Haas. He has some great online fitness coaching  for those of you who may be fighting cancer.  If you know or love someone who is fighting the cancer battle, point them to this post. 

Getting Fit In Spite of Cancer

Whether you are recovering mesothelioma treatment or your treatment is still in progress, you may find that you are feeling listless, frustrated and constantly fatigued. While there is no magic formula that will make that all go away, you will find that you can mitigate some of the symptoms through exercise. According to the National Cancer Institute, a panel of 13 experts in fields ranging from exercise training to cancer stated that one of the most important things that a cancer patient or survivor can do is to avoid inactivity. This is news that can change the way that you look at your recovery.

In the first place, one thing that cancer survivors have to think about is what they are capable of. If you worked out a great deal before your diagnosis, you may want to go immediately back to where you were. In many cases, this is not possible, though you may find that you can get back there eventually. While this is disappointing, one way that many people get through this is by thinking that they are doing more than they were yesterday. Take some time to think about what your options are in this regard and what kind of exercises you might want to resume.

If you are thinking that you have never worked out before, you will find that this is a good time to start. Not only does working out allow you to reassert control over your body, you will also find that it releases endorphins that allow you to feel good. This release of adrenaline is a great way to burn off the stress that so often goes with cancer treatment, even after a full recovery has been affected. If you have never really exercised before, speak with a doctor and discuss what your options might be and what you can do to make sure that you are not going to hurt yourself.

Remember that it is okay to start small. There are plenty of people who find that just a walk up and down the street is what they can handle at first. Push yourself a little, but remember to take care of yourself as well. Exercising allows you to stay in tune with your body and to put it to work for you. So many people think that they are prisoners in their body, but the truth is that it is a tool. It may not always work well, but it is yours and you can sharpen and refine it.

Take some time to learn more about what kind of exercises are going to work best for you. This is a wonderful time get back in control, no matter where in your treatment you are. Consider how you can work out and fend off feelings of fear and worry.

About the Author

Joining the organization in 2011, David Haas is a cancer support group and  awareness program advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In addition to  researching the many valuable programs available to our site’s visitors, David  often blogs about programs and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer  Alliance, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer, while  creating relationships with similar organizations.

David can be reached at dhaas@mesotheliomacanceralliance.org

Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/david/bio.htm#ixzz1mlcBn5ZY

 

Healthy Tips for Holiday Stress Relief

Are you starting to stress as the holidays approach?  Worried that all the parties, gift giving and traveling will leave you frazzled and your belly bloated?  Here are ten tips from your favorite  fitness coach to relieve stress from Christmas to the New Year.

 

  1. Eat a healthy snack before you head out to holiday parties so you won’t overeat and stress about all the extra calories you have ingested.
  2. Keep to your exercise schedule as much as possible.  Regular exercise will work off built up stress.  It also releases those feel good chemicals (endorphins) that will help you feel calm.  When you are pressed for time due to shopping and social engagements, take a brisk walk or do a quick ten minute workout like Ten Minute Trainer When traveling, plan ahead.  Find out if your hotel has a fitness room.  Take along lightweight resistance bands and a workout plan on an index card that you can do anywhere.
  3. Get some alone time each day.  Even 15 minutes can make a huge difference in your outlook when your are experiencing the holidays at the speed of light!
  4. Pack some healthy snacks in your purse before heading out to shop.  It will cut down on becoming so hungry that you wolf down twice your normal amount of calories at the restaurant.  It can also keep food costs down.  Paying big bucks for meals while shopping can stress you out too!
  5. Help someone else.  Volunteer at a local agency this holiday.  Focusing on someone else who needs your help will take the spotlight off you, and your stress will lower.  Helping others will make you feel good too.
  6. Can’t get to the gym? Use a workout dvd or a workout on a cable channel such as Fit TV.
  7. Use smaller plates at parties.  You will eat less.  Feel free to try my trick and only take what you can carry on a napkin.  Believe me it is definitely less than you can pile on a plate!
  8. Get family and friends to help start some active holiday traditions with you.  Go ice skating or cross country skiing.  Take a long walk around the neighborhood to look at the holiday lights.  With a little creativity, you can come up with something everyone will want to do for years to come.
  9. Try some calming exercise like yoga or tai chi.  These will make you feel renewed in body mind and spirit.
  10. Make sure you get plenty of sleep.  Try to keep your normal sleeping and waking schedule as much as possible.  Little ones get cranky around the holidays when they miss naps and stay up too late and us adults are no different.

Remember:  If you are stressed and frazzled, you can’t enjoy the people you love the most during the holidays and they can’t enjoy your company as much either.  Share some of your favorite holiday stress relief tips in the comment section.  I would love to hear from you!

Additional links for holiday stress relief:

The Mayo Clinic

Web MD

Life 123

 

How To Write a Fitness Plan: Progression and Overoad

You will increase strength, improve self-confidence and relieve stress with a well written fitness plan.  Your fitness coach is back with part five in this video series on progression and overload, you have all the tools you need to write a very specific plans that can get you the results you want.  Watch the video, then write your plan.  If you like this info. please share it.

 

Nutrition for Stress and Anxiety

We all deal with stress in our lives and we all experience anxiety from time to time.  Did you ever stop and think about good nutrition for stress and anxiety?  Believe it or not, it does make a difference. Your mind and body are intricately connected.  What you consume can make a difference in your stress and anxiety level.

 When I started my first teaching job, I was super busy.  I stopped eating well and started reaching for what was handy (usually junk).  It didn’t take long for me to begin to feel stressed and anxious.  My self confidence plummeted and I didn’t know why.  As I look back now, poor nutrition was a big part of the problem

According to Rosehaven Cottage Kitchens, complex carbohydrates (like you find in whole wheat bread) will produce seratonin during the digestive process.  Those are the feel-good chemicals your brain uses to communicate.  Seratonin tells your brain to feel happy.  If your brain lacks it..not as happy.

Other nutrients your body needs to make you less anxious and stressed are things like vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids, folic acid and vitamin D.  Highly processed “junk” foods lack these nutrients.

Eating foods high in these nutrients will help to lower your stress and anxiety level.  A nutritional supplement like Shakeology also contains complex carbs and most of the above vitamins and minerals you need to lower your stress and anxiety levels.

So the next time you are feeling stressed and anxious, think about what you have been putting into your body and make some positive changes!

Managing Stress with Exercise

I am a huge proponent of managing stress with regular exercise.  Studies have shown over and over again that daily exercise can elevate mood and relieve stress.  People who are mildly or moderately depressed can get as much relief from daily exercise as they can from anti-depressants.  So now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is.  Our school district is in the middle of a huge reorganization, closing buildings, furloughing teachers and moving everyone who is left all around.  I have been teaching at the same school at the same grade level for 11 years.  Next year I will move from high school to middle school (6th and 7th grade).  Big changes equal big amounts of stress.  The last time I had a big job change I left my daily exercise routine slip and I paid the price.  This time I am determined to do better.  My health and well being will not take a back burner to a crazy schedule and new responsibilities.  I have to take care of myself first.  If I can stay focused on that, the rest will fall into place.  When have you had to make a big life change?  Did keeping your workout schedule keep you sane?  Let me know your story!