Study: Cancer Survivors Gain Strength with Strength Training

Among the many side effects of cancer treatment, muscle loss is one that can make daily tasks such as lifting groceries and running errands become challenging. Dumbbell-SP005620_7_300w

Now an analysis of the research suggests that survivors who lift weights and do other resistance exercises improve both arm and leg muscles. And for the strongest arms, resistance training at a low to moderate intensity works the best.

The review was published last week in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The new study looking only at randomized controlled trials — considered the gold standard of studies — included studies on resistance training among cancer patients and survivors. The researchers ended up with 11 relevant studies that included almost 1200 people. Each comparing a resistance training  group against a comparison. The majority of studies worked with breast and prostate patients and survivors.

Participants had conducted resistance training exercises from 3 months up to a year. Most involved two training sessions a week. Continue reading

Hot? Tired? How Stretch Bands Can Help.

If you live in one of the many areas where it’s hot, rainy, or you just want to stay inside, that’s a good enough reason to get in on the growing trend of resistance bands. They’re cheap, portable, and a simple way to get your daily dose of exercise – for overall health and cancer prevention.

In our video, exercise physiologist Mary Kennedy demonstrates three simple 1-minute resistance band exercises. Here, Mary explains how much of these exercises we should do and what all those different colors mean.

Q: You say in the video to incorporate resistance training in your exercise routine twice a week; how long would you recommend?

A: The ideal amount of resistance training isn’t usually measured in minutes; it’s measured by the number of exercises and repetitions completed. You should strive to complete 8 to 10 different exercises that target all major muscle groups. Aim to complete at least one set of 8 to 12 repetitions of each. Continue reading