exercise and breast cancer

Beginning an exercise program isn't as daunting as you may think. But, before you do start, check in with your doctors. Let them know you want to become for active and what you're planning on doing.

But, before I go any further, let's define some terms:
Reps - a single cycle of lifting a weight. For example, in a bicep curl, each time you bring your hand toward your should and them return it to your side you'll have completed one rep. Generally you'll want to perform 8-12 reps.
Sets - the number of reps you've completed in one exercise. So, if you complete 12 reps you';; have completed on set. 1-3 sets are the goal to strive for.
Major Muscle Group - the muscles of your core, back, hips, legs, chest and shoulders.

Your routine should include cardio, resistance and flexibility exercises. These don't need to be done in one sitting. Breaking your exercise into segments may help keep you motivated and prevent injuries.

If lymph nodes have been damaged from surgery, radiation or chemo take a minimum of two days of rest between your resistance workout. Also, plan your resistance workout to alternate between upper and lower body exercises. You'll limit repetitive movement. For example, perform 1 set of squats followed by one set of back work. Have your arm measured before you begin your program so you have a baseline. NOTE: If you experience swelling, a sense of heaviness or fullness or redness get toyour oncologist immediately and get a referral to a physical therapist trained to work with lymphedema.

I you currently have a port, picc or central line in the chest area avoid using resistance on that side. That doesn't mean letting your arm just "hang around," you'll go through the range of motion on that side without resistance.

Resistance Program - Begin with one set of 8-12 reps, using light weights. monitor your body. If you feel energized the following day then you've used the correct weight and intensity. Once 1 set of 12 reps become easy, add a second set. Only when the second set becomes simple will you increase the weight. Weight increases should be in the area of 5%, don't jump from 10 to 20 lbs.

Cardio Program - Begin with 10-15 minutes of any activity your enjoy - walking, jogging, biking, gardening - and gradually increase the time. If 10-15 minutes of movement seems unattainable at this time, place on moving for 5 minutes every hour. At the end of 8 hours you'll have accumulated 40 minutes of movement. It's better to increase the time spent walking as opposed to increasing the intensity of your walk. Aim to accumulate 30 minutes of cardio activity 5 days a week.

Stretching - Stretching's an important element in your program because it counteracts stiffness and changes in posture occurring after surgery or radiation. Inactivity also causes muscles to shorten. Stretching improves posture and balance making it easier to perform daily activities. Stretch each major muscle group; chest, back, legs, shoulders and arms. Hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds and repeat each stretch twice.

If you have ANY questions on beginning your program, please feel free to contact me.