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Exercise post Treatment

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

I learned so much reading the comments in the diet post treatment discussion, I wanted to continue with the question of exercise post treatment. Do you exercise and would you share your daily routine? Did you exercise pre-diagnosis? Did you change anything after treatment? Do you have any short-term or long-term physical issues as a result of treatment that limit exercise or physical activity?

Also, do you meditate?

Thanks!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2823
Joined: Jan 2010

Besides food, another one of my favorite topics! I have been into fitness for many years and am a runner and also weight train. I felt at the top of my game when I was diagnosed with cancer, so it was a complete shock. I think exercise plays as important a role in preventing cancer as does diet. However, once again, it was not enough to prevent my cancer. That being said, I'm still at it. I even exercised while I was going through treatment, albeit at a much slower pace (walking instead of running). I always feel better when I stick to my routine, which I will outline below. Right now, I have been on a break, due to the fact that I have been out of state recently to begin the process of cleaning out my mother's house to ready it for sale (which was also good exercise!), as she is now living in assisted living. Today, it's back on the wagon!

I usually run on my treadmill 4-5 times per week for atleast 40 minutes, keeping my heart rate around 134 bpm for at least 30 minutes. Occasionally, I will do intervals of 1 minute walking at a fast pace, then running 1 minute at a fast pace, for an hour. Intervals are good for strengthening the heart. Obviously, when I am training for a race, I run longer. I weight train at least 2 times per week, using a weight machine along with free weights. I do core exercises daily to strengthen my mid-section.

As my pic shows, I finished my first marathon last April, and have run many other races over the years, including half-marathons. Most people do not need to run marathons to get fit. My suggestion is to implement a walking program or other activity that you enjoy. Many people enjoy yoga or aerobics classes, which can be motivating because of the other people involved. I prefer to exercise by myself. Our dear Angela will probably chime in with some great advice.

As for changing anything post-treatment, if anything, I upped the ante, so to speak. I became determined to do even more than before cancer, which is why I ran the marathon. It was something I had to prove to myself I could do, being a cancer survivor and also having hydrocephalis (too much fluid on my brain which required a shunt). I may be the only known hydrocephalic anal cancer survivor who has run a marathon! Where's Guinness when you need them? lol!

I'm sure you'll find an exercise program that will suit you. Do not be afraid to try new things and perhaps enlist the services of a personal trainer for a couple of sessions to get proper instruction. Just make sure you have fun with whatever you do so you'll stick with it. Good luck!

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 734
Joined: May 2011

You are an inspiration. I was on my spin bike for a while up to 45 minutes a day, but the leg spasms were too much for me that came after so I am sticking to chi exercises and walking on flat surfaces (as not to aggravate the legs). That way I am not taking Advil and limping for the rest of the day!

You caught your cancer early. I think likely that is because you are in the habit of taking care of yourself.

Keep it up. We love you here.

Sandy

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2823
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you! You are such a dear!

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

I exercised pre-cancer mostly through stringent cardio and weight training but have opted to lighten up in those areas simply because I found them to be stressful. I was always a moderate practitioner of mat Pilates and practiced it regularly throughout treatment. I became certified in Pilates following treatment. Any movement that keeps your body flexible, with special attention to your hips due to stiffness from radiation, is beneficial.

Last week I began Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Taoist meditation practices under a master instructor. I am also exploring the Taoist approach to food. I can tell you that I wish I would have been wise to these methods in childhood and would have taught them to my own children, who now as teenagers, think I'm crazy. :) There is something very special in Chinese wellness from which we can all learn and apply to our daily lives.

Explore and find what energizes you! There's so much out there. Whether it's running, biking, hiking, yoga, martial arts, ballet . . .just move!

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 734
Joined: May 2011

I have a collection of DVD's and love them. I am very interested in the Taoist approach to food. I am taking a class in Eastern Thinking and Philosophers which is wonderfully informative and compliments the Chi exercises I find so relieving and reviving.

I love doing them in my little home office with my MAC computer with a 45" wide display. Most of mine have good music and some have wonderful photography of soaring birds and or water which compliment everything. I have trouble doing the exercises alone still even though I have been doing them almost daily from 20 to 90 minutes even throughout treatment. It is wonderful you found a mastor instructor, but the DVD's have master instructors too and are more affordable for me. I think it is pretty evident where a lot of Pilates came from, don't you?

But for me it is really wonderful to feel the connection of mind body and spirit in an "exercise" program because that is what it has been tailored to do for centuries. There is just something very reassuring in that.

You will find, however that because of the different dynasties, etc that there are many different approaches to the same thing and I enjoy the videos for that reason. But I started with only one which I used for about a year before buying the second, third, etc. I love checking in with how I feel and then choosing based on that, my course for the day.

But for now, since you have a master and are so ready for that, keep doing what you are doing. It is terrific.

Love,
Sandy

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

Sandy ~ I'm delighted that you have found Chi sequences beneficial! Amazingly, my private Master instruction for one hour per week costs $10 a session. He also provides group classes in the park weekly, free of charge among a variety of other classes, like the meditation. Our community is so fortunate to have him. He posts many instructional videos on his very thorough, comprehensive website that you might find enjoyable. http://www.tai-chi-concho.com/index.htm

Joseph Pilates created his conditioning practices based on forms of Eastern martial arts, yoga and animal/human anatomy & physiology. I, too, find fascination and a level of comfort in that forms of Tai Chi have been practiced for thousands of years. Healing Qi Gong is of huge interest to me as well.

Keep me posted on other areas you explore as we grow ourselves beyond treatment! A very exciting time, indeed!

Love,
Angela

Jo Joy
Posts: 39
Joined: Oct 2012

Love, love Zumba. I have to modify some of the steps (due to knee injury in high school), but I get my dance on! The class lasts an hour and a half and let me tell you - it is a workout. My class also uses hand weights for some of the moves. I was doing Zumba pre diagnosis, but with daily rad appointments and putting in a full day at work, I had to stop. Walking now mostly...with the dogs. :o) After treatment I am going to get back into it to tone up and get some stamina back.

I have to share this with you: I was at my Weight Watchers meeting this past Spring, and it was raining outside, and we were discussing what we do for activity when there are days you can't get out to exercise. This woman who is in her late 60's speaks up and says that she was supposed to swim that day, but because it was cold, she was going to treadmill it that day. The leader requests that she tell the rest of us what she is up to. Well she is a triathlonar…and get this – she started doing this in her mid sixties and hadn’t been much of an exercise person up to that point! I thought to myself – if she can do that I don’t have any excuse about why I can’t exercise. What an inspiration!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2823
Joined: Jan 2010

I want to be that woman! That's amazing! There is a Catholic nun named Sister Madonna who is now I believe in her early 80's who has been competing in triathlons since she was 49 years old--a total of over 300 races! She's done the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii numerous times. She and your Weight Watchers friend both inspire me so much!

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

You all inspire me! Thank you for you posts and program advice! I ran most of my life...I'm walking everyday now and actually enlisted the help of a personal trainer for 12 sessions. I lost lean muscle and gained fat post treatment ... On the road to recovery and a strong lean body ... Soon!

I love this site and do appreciate each if you!

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 514
Joined: Apr 2009

i love that all of you can exercise so much. even tho i am 3 years post tx, my anus hurts too much after exercise.. it pulls on it if i walk on the treadmill even if i put aquafor on it to help it "slide"... this really makes me mad and sad because i was an exerciser before this diagnosis. but i will not give up. i just fear and hate the pain afterwards. also afraid that it might tear the tissue because of radiation damage. i am only chiming in because i am venting. i live in a small town and we do not have tai chi but i will find pilates or yoga...BUT i am truly grateful for how far God has let me come. i was in sooooo much pain during and after treatment that i was ready to go to Heaven to get relief but here i am and better... not perfect ... but soooo much better. hugs to all of you ... sephie

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2823
Joined: Jan 2010

We are glad you are still here and doing better!

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 734
Joined: May 2011

I am sorry you are having anal pain. I only have that now and then but can really sympathize. My doctor told me to use Psyllium Husks (like Metamucil) and take stool softeners which helped me. I sometimes get little sores which comes from dehydration and cracking and the Aquaphor helps with that as do sitz baths. For some reason, pulling out the sitz bath kind of depresses me since it feels like I am back where I was but the comfort and cleanliness they bring is hard to beat. Afterwards, though, the Aquaphor is a must.

With Chi exercises you never do anything that hurts, which is so different than the "no pain, no gain" stuff I used to believe. My first dvd was called "Tai Chi and Chi Gung for Natural Health by Christopher Anderl. Maybe you can still find it. You don't have to do aerobics to exercise. I may one day return to it, but right now am grateful to have my dvd's with Chi exercise instruction.

all the best to you.
Sandy

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

Hey Sandy,
I can't afford Tai Chi classes but I found the DVD you mention above. Before I buy that one in particular, can you tell me why you recommend it above others? I only want to buy one, and want to make sure that I buy the one best suited for me.
Thanks.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

This is off topic, but that cat is adorable! What kind is it?

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 514
Joined: Apr 2009

she is a full blood calico persian that i rescued from a cat shelter. i was taking supplies to the shelter and spotted her in the corner and had to have her. she was 6 when i adopted her and i have had her 2 years... yes, she is gorgeous and very sweet. i had a huge 14 year old yellow lab but had to put him down last year so she is my one baby now. thx for asking. sephie

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