Get Physical to Fight Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can rob you of your life. Don’t let it. We’re not talking about a metaphorical fight. This is a physical one. Get up and get moving. Regular exercise like the full body workout at Curves can help prevent breast cancer, help you to overcome the disease if you are diagnosed, and help you to stay at a healthy weight after treatment. Here are some health tips to get you started:
Several studies1 conducted over the past 20 years indicate that regular exercise lowers a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Women’s Health Initiative2 found that 1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours of exercise a week reduced the risk by 18 percent.
Researchers don’t know exactly how physical activity3 prevents breast cancer, but they speculate that it may help moderate hormones, including estrogen and insulin, which can trigger the development of this disease. A regular workout plan promotes healthy weight loss for women, and being overweight, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) higher than 25, increases breast cancer risk.
Get physical: Get to Curves for a whole body workout at least of 3-4 times a week. A single 30-minute session works every major muscle-group from head to toe and pumps up your cardiovascular system.
If you are battling breast cancer, regular physical activity can be one of your best allies. A Curves workout helps you maintain strength, endurance, and flexibility so that you can do the daily tasks that you need and want to do while you undergo treatment. Regular exercise also gives you more energy, and helps you sleep better at night.
Perhaps most important are the mental health benefits of exercise. Regular physical activity4 lifts your mood, helps you feel better about yourself, and raises up your inner strength as you face this disease and endure the challenges of treatment. A full body workout puts you in the present and takes your focus off breast cancer; it pulls you out of the worry about what may happen tomorrow and directs your energy to the moment you are in.
Get physical: Before continuing or starting an exercise routine while undergoing breast cancer treatment, talk with your doctor. You need his or her input on how best to approach regular physical activity. If you exercised regularly before cancer, you may have to cut back on the amount and intensity; if you are new to exercise, you will need to ease into a workout plan.
Resistance training, such as the Curves circuit, can help keep muscles and bones strong during cancer treatment. And be sure to stretch regularly to maintain flexibility. Schedule your full body workouts at the time of day when you are feeling your best.
Live well beyond it
Breast cancer survivors are more likely than the average woman to become frail—lose strength in their muscles and bones, and fatigue easily. Regular exercise will help combat this by building physical strength and boosting energy.
Some of the health benefits of exercise are more specific. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania5 conducted a study titled Physical Activity and Lymphedema (PAL) to determine if resistance training (think Curves) was safe for breast cancer survivors who had or were at risk for lymphedema (swelling in the arm that can occur after breast cancer treatment). They found that not only was resistance training safe for survivors, it lowered the risk of lymphedema, and it helped prevent frailty, increased strength, and maintained physical function among the women.
Not only does regular exercise raise quality of life, it decreases the recurrence of breast cancer by 24 percent according to the American Cancer Society6. Though the issue is complex, research suggests that exercise can improve survival for breast cancer survivors. Part of this is due to the weight loss and maintenance benefits of exercise.
Get physical: If you’re a breast cancer survivor, talk with your doctor before getting back to your workout plan or getting in shape with a new one. You need time to heal from treatment, whether chemo, surgery, or a combination. If you did not exercise during treatment, ask your doctor when you can begin again and how to approach a full body workout safely.
Keep in mind that Curves offers a variety of fitness classes in addition to the traditional circuit. There’s Balance, Cardio, Body Basics, and Boxing to help you achieve all your fitness relationship goals. You have lots of options and are sure to find one—or several—that you love.
Also remember that by nature, Curves ladies only gym provides a positive, supportive environment every woman can benefit from. Whether you’re looking for weight loss motivation, fitness tips, or support through a life-changing disease like breast cancer, you will find friends at Curves to give you the boost you need.
2 American Medical Association