Dr. Kathryn Schmitz on Physical Activity, Lymphedema and Cancer Survivors

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YouTube Preview ImageAt our Research Conference last week, we were honored to have Kathryn H. Schmitz, PhD, MPH, FACSM give a talk on strategies for promoting physical activity among cancer survivors.

It was Dr. Schmitz’s PAL (Physical Activity and Lymphedema) Trial that showed that survivors with lymphedema (swelling of the limbs) could benefit from gradual, closely supervised weight training – a finding that challenged the conventional wisdom that lymphedema sufferers should avoid weight-bearing exercise.  She published her findings in the August issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.  We profiled this research in the latest issue of AICR’s ScienceNow newsletter.

But that doesn’t mean that women who have, or who are at high risk for lymphedema, should just head to the gym and start lifting away.  We caught up with Dr. Schmitz at lunch, and she talked about two online resources to help these women get the guidance they need.

www.lymphnet.org – The National Lymphedema Network. Find physical therapists trained in lymphedema issues.

www.strengthandcourage.net – Order a DVD on exercise after breast cancer surgery – includes many of the exercises used in Dr. Schmitz’s PAL trial.

For more general advice about diet and physical activity during and after cancer, don’t forget to check out the AICR/New York Presbyterian Hospital DVD, Food For the Fight: Guidelines for Healthy Nutrition During and After Cancer Treatment

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    Children will eat vegetables…

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    Healthy veggie sandwichIn this morning’s session, Barbara Rolls, PhD presented info about veggie eating from her study with pre-school children. She and her research team made changes to the kids’ normal lunches so they contained more vegetables and fruits and fewer calorie-dense foods.

    The question – would they increase their veggies and fruits and would they eat more food overall to make up for fewer calories at lunch? The answer is “yes” to more veggies and fruits and “no” to eating more later in the day to increase their calories.

    How to get children to eat their veggies? The successful method in this case may be that they served them veggies first – carrot sticks or tomato soup – before they received other foods.

    Studies have shown the same ideas work for adults as well. A simple, easy to implement idea!

    Check out more ideas for helping children eat more veggies on the AICR Web site.

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