Low Impact Activity – High Impact on Cancer Survivorship

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We’ve known about the importance of physical activity in lowering risk for several cancers – in fact, AICR recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily, working up to 60 minutes for more protection.

But now there are physical activity recommendations for cancer survivors as well – to improve well-being and perhaps lower the risk of recurrence.  You can read more about the published report and the recommendations for breast cancer survivors here.  The bottom line is that patients and survivors should avoid inactivity.

Getting active may seem more difficult if you experience joint pain, but fortunately it is possible to achieve your minimum 30 minutes of physical activity with low impact activities.  Our Coach’s Corner article in this week’s eNews discusses low impact activities and offers some specific things you can do without putting more stress on your joints.

Low impact doesn’t mean you aren’t working hard.  It just refers to the impact your movements have on your joints.  You’ll still work up a sweat and get your heart rate up and experience the benefits of physical activity.

For more information on getting started, check out AICR’s newest brochure Start Where You Are.

Physical Activity Keeps You Feeling Better

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If you’re visiting this blog, you likely know that getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily can lower your risk for cancer. But did you know about the emotional benefits that being active brings?

Getting up and moving also helps you blow off steam and manage stress, helps stave off depression, raises your self-esteem, boosts your energy, and helps you sleep better.

You’ll feel good, too: When we’re active, our brain releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killers.  Getting your blood moving helps improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs, and that’s a change you’ll feel every time you climb a set of stairs.

New guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine urge cancer survivors, even those undergoing treatment, to get active. Research suggests that exercise can help survivors have more energy, improve their quality of life, and reduce risk of recurrence.

For ideas on how to build exercise into your day, take a look at AICR’s brochure “Moving More.”


More Cancer Survivors: More Healthy Living

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A new batch of cancer statistics was published online today and it bodes good news, relatively speaking, for people diagnosed with cancer.  The report found that overall cancer mortality rates have steadily decreased over the last 16 years, translating to approximating 767,000 fewer deaths from cancer.

Avoiding inactivity is one of the latest pieces of advice for cancer survivors.

To read the report visit CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

The lower cancer death rate occurred in all racial/ethnic groups in both men and women, with the exception of American Indian/Alaska Native women, in whom rates were stable.

A few highlights from the report:
•    Among men, death rates for all races combined decreased by 21.0 percent between 1990 and 2006, with decreases in lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer rates accounting for nearly 80 percent of the total.

•    Among women, overall cancer death rates between 1991 and 2006 decreased by 12.3 percent, with decreases in breast and colorectal cancer rates accounting for 60 percent of the total.

•    Breast, lung, and colon are the three most common types of cancer in women, accounting for an estimated 52 percent of cases in 2010. Breast cancer alone is expected to account for 28 percent of all new cancer cases among women.

And although the lower rates of mortality (and incidence) is overall great news, cancer still accounts for more deaths than heart disease in persons younger than 85 years, the authors note.

The report comes at a time when research is now clearly showing that a healthy lifestyle can help cancer survivors, both physiologically and psychologically. For the latest news and information, visit AICR’s News section for Cancer Patients and Survivors News section.