Reducing the Risk of Breast Cancer with Exercise
Exercise is a great way to keep your body in shape, but its benefits don’t stop there. With regular exercise, you can avoid having to experience life threatening sicknesses and diseases like breast cancer. However, not all exercise routines help with reducing the risk of the disease. Because sometimes, overexerting your energy will strain your body and put yourself at risk. Hence, it is best that you focus on a couple of exercise routines that target specific body systems and parts.
Aerobic exercises use rhythmic, repetitive motion to improve your blood circulation and breathing. It doesn’t have to be too complicated because of walking, running, or jogging is enough to get your heart pumping. And if you want to go faster, you can also ride a bike, use the elliptical, or try doing some dancing. For older individuals who wish to improve their aerobic fitness, you can participate low-impact sports like golf.
Flexibility is all about stretching out your limbs. It keeps your muscles elastic and improves the movement of your joints. Throughout your flexibility exercises, you should not feel any muscle strains, so it is wise to take it slow and not to push yourself too far. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are exercises that can awaken your muscles. But if you find the poses of these workouts too difficult, simple stretching will do.
Strength exercises might require you to carry weights and dumbbells, but don’t get too carried away. Remember to only lift what you can move, or else risk breaking a bone or tearing a muscle. Strength exercises help mend muscle imbalance or weakness, especially after breast cancer surgery. It also improves your balance, straightens your posture, and makes it easier to perform chores like carrying grocery bags. If you do not have any weights or dumbbells, you can use a kettlebell or band resistance as an alternative.
Tips when Exercising after Surgery
If you have had breast cancer and have successfully beaten the odds, you can still exercise in your current condition. However, you need to take extra precaution when performing the routines and be cleared by your doctor beforehand. These guidelines will also aid you through your exercise routine, so please keep them in mind before you start.
- During your healing stages, you need to remember to take a slow and steady pace and increase your load gradually. Starting with an intense workout may startle your body, increasing your chances of lymphedema (swelling of the soft tissues of the arm hand, trunk, or breast.)
- To make your workouts more comfortable and easier, hire a certified trainer to aid you throughout the process.
- If you feel tired, stop, and rest as often as you can.
- The recommended number of hours of exercise you should take each week is 3.5 hours (30-minutes a day)
- Avoid intense workouts like swimming, lifting weights (of any kind), and P90x.
- Yoga is still acceptable, but some poses may strain your arms and muscles. Before the class begins, be sure to tell your instructor that you are a breast cancer survivor, and cannot perform some of the poses.
- Always remind your instructor/trainer that you have gone through breast cancer surgery. They will most likely create a workout plan perfectly fit for your condition.
Educating the world about breast cancer doesn’t always have to be through wearing pink silicone wristbands. Sometimes, living a healthy lifestyle is enough to avoid getting breast cancer, as well as a sign that breast cancer survivors can still be active after getting surgery.