Category Archives: Daily Matters

Exercise After a Cancer Diagnosis



Exercise may be the furthest thing from your mind after a cancer diagnosis; however, exercise that focuses on functional fitness will help you carry out the activities of daily living and return to the activities you enjoy.  A well-designed program can also decrease side effects and improve quality of life.

Each person is unique and heals differently. Moreover, there are many types of cancers, treatments and late-term side effects, each one affecting survivors in different ways. It is important, therefore, to work with a cancer exercise specialist or possibly a physical therapist who can design the best program for your unique situation and fitness level. Check with your physician or other specialist tracking your survivorship care for recommendations of qualified exercise providers.

For people who were active before surgery, it is imperative to slowly work back up to the previous level of activity. It is not wise to go back to a gym and continue with a pre-cancer exercise routine. Cancer survivors need to have patience; returning to your pre-cancer fitness level takes time and cannot be rushed. It is important to understand the implications of your particular surgery and the corrective exercises needed to improve recovery.

Some cancer survivors will need to exercise under supervision while others will be able to exercise independently. The type and scope of cancer and your overall medical condition and fitness level will determine whether a supervised program is needed. Even if you don’t need supervision, finding a program, either individual or small group, will help you to achieve your goals in a warm, friendly setting. The camaraderie and support of a small group can make taking care of your health enjoyable and fun.
Continue reading

The Block Program’s New Year’s Resolutions for Cancer Patients

2017 has arrived, so it’s time to get going and keep going with good, uncomplicated New Year’s resolutions. But facing several helpful lifestyle changes that can produce better health for cancer patients, it might be hard to decide what to work on first. We’ll address that problem by suggesting three major priorities for cancer patients this year. If you use these for your resolutions, you’ll be taking concrete steps to improve your overall health and ability to tolerate and respond to cancer treatment.

Resolution 1: Eat an anti-inflammatory diet

healthy lifestyleInflammation in your body is a major driver of cancer growth. That’s the primary motivation to reduce excess inflammation. But that’s not all inflammation does. Inflammatory molecules called cytokines also contribute to cancer-induced fatigue, the most widespread side effect plaguing cancer patients. Of course, there are drugs and supplements that fight inflammation, but eating a diet that promotes inflammation at the same time you are trying to reduce it by taking supplements or drugs is like trying to run up a down escalator! Continue reading

Five Easy Ways to Watch your Weight in the New Year

One of the top resolutions people make every year is to try and lose weight. They wake up on January 1st and realize that their favorite jeans just aren’t fitting like they used to! This is when they typically join a gym, start eating a lot of salads, and make a pact with themselves to lose 20 pounds in a matter of just a few months. These ambitious people start off strong but slip back into bad habits after a few months, and through no fault of their own! When we stress out our bodies or deplete it of the valuable nutrients it needs to stay happy and healthy, it is very easy to watch that weight creep back on. Here are some easy ways to keep your eye on the prize as your enter in to 2016!

Start Walking: One of the best gifts that I ever received was a step-tracker that I wear on my wrist. Not only did this little device open my eyes as to how much I was sitting during the day, it motivated me to get outside and take as many steps as possible. After a few weeks, I found myself in the regular roueasy ways to watch your weighttine of getting up in the morning and heading out for a long walk. Not only is walking an easy way to get your body moving, it’s a wonderful way to combat stress. When we get anxious or depressed, we tend to start emotionally eating. By getting outside, breathing fresh air, and moving around, we are helping keep these negative emotions at bay. Try walking every day for at least 15 minutes! You will be amazed at how you feel and eventually look!

Eat your Veggies: Low in calories and rich in nutrients, vegetables are one of the best foods we can eat when watching our waistlines. A lot of them are also rich in fiber to promote proper digestion and help give us that sense of fullness! When trying to lose weight, it is important that we aren’t starving ourselves or depleting our bodies of beneficial nutrients. That’s why I recommend adding veggies to your morning smoothie. Just a few handfuls of leafy greens like spinach, chard, or kale can help nourish your body from the inside out. You will also notice that your body gets a nice boost of energy from all of the B vitamins found in these vegetables! Make it a habit to incorporate green vegetables into at least one meal per day, every day! Your body will thank you for it.

Focus on Fiber: There is nothing worse than eating a big meal and not feeling full! Even after you ate all of that food, you still feel tempted to snack throughout the day. Focusing on adding fiber to your diet can help with this! Not only does fiber tell your body that you are full and it is time to stop eating, it can help promote regular bowel movements. When we have proper elimination, we feel lighter and more energized to get our bodies moving. I like incorporate the ORGANIC INDIA Whole Husk Psyllium into my recipes for a nice boost of soluble and insoluble fiber. Try adding a spoonful to your morning smoothie as a way to start the day off on the right foot!

Stay Hydrated: Believe it or not, water is one of the most common things that Americans are deficient in. That’s because we spend all of our time drinking coffee, soda, or alcoholic beverages. Make sure you are hydrating your body every day with the right intake of water. How do you know what amount to drink? Take your body weight and divide it in half. The number you get is the total amount in ounces that you should be drinking. It may sound like a lot, but our bodies need water in order to think and function properly. Get in the habit of drinking water by caring around a water bottle with you. Add some lemon juice to it for some extra flavor and a boost of nutrients.

Focus on Good Fats: Not all fats make you fat! In fact, a low fat diet can actually increase your odds of gaining weight. Why? Well, if you have ever been on a low-fat diet, you know how cranky, tired, and awful you feel. When your food isn’t satisfying to your body, you feel like you want to eat more! That’s why it is so important to incorporate beneficial fats into your diet. Try using cold-pressed olive oil and coconut oil in your recipes. Start eating avocados and raw, organic nuts for a midday snack. Add omega-3 fatty acids into your routine by supplementing with a spoonful of chia seeds. These good fats will help your body feel satisfied, energized, and glowing from the inside out.

By: Margaux J Rathbun, B.S., N.T.P.

Courtesy of Organic India USA