Tag Archives: Physical exercise

Keeping Breast Cancer Risks on the Move

Exercise. Physical activity. Moving. Along with a clean and colorful diet, there’s almost nothing better you can do for your body than move. The fact is we have to keep moving to keep moving, and here’s another reason why.

Even mild physical activity can decrease a woman’s breast cancer risk. Moving is especially important during the childbearing years and after menopause. Gaining weight, though, will negate these benefits.

Move every day — a little or a lot.

Maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active are the two key ways to keep the risk of breast cancer at bay, according to a recent study led by Lauren McCullough, MSPH, of the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Adam Brufsky, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told dailyRx, “This is very interesting and suggests that even moderate amount of exercise may be enough.”

A number of studies have demonstrated that exercise reduces the risk of new and recurrent breast cancer, but without analyzing the different types of activities or exercise frequency, intensity and timeframes.

McCullough and colleagues looked for the relationship between breast cancer risks and engaging in recreational physical activity at various times throughout a woman’s life.

The study involved 1,504 women with breast cancer, including 233 who had non-invasive and 1,273 with invasive breast cancers. The women ranged in age from 20 to 98.

Here’s what the study uncovered:

  • Exercising during a woman’s childbearing years or after menopause reduced the risk of breast cancer.
  • Women who exercised 10-19 hours a week had a 30 percent reduced risk.
  • All types of exercise performed at all intensity levels offered benefits.
  • Exercise appeared to be particularly helpful in lowering the risk of hormone receptor positive (estrogen and progesterone – ER+ and PR+) breast cancers, which are the most common in American women.

“The observation of a reduced risk of breast cancer for women who engaged in exercise after menopause is particularly encouraging given the late age of onset for breast cancer,” said McCullough.

A personal trainer in New York City, Amie Hoff, CPT, NASM has seen the results of exercise and has helped women with breast cancer achieve them.

“The benefits of exercise are amazing. Besides building strength, my breast cancer clients also increase their flexibility, develop greater balance, re-claim confidence and develop a stronger cardio level.” Hoff told dailyRx in an email.

“Exercise gives them a sense of control over their bodies when they feel they have none,” she adds. “The smile on their faces and sense of accomplishment after the session makes exercise one of the best medicines!”

After dancing with breast cancer, it’s exceedingly important to keep on dancing, according to Randy Blackburn, DO, MBA, director of radiation oncology at Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

There are no boundaries on type and intensity.  “There should be no restrictions that your body does not tell you about. Range of motion exercises need to be life long especially if your have had axillary dissection and /or nodal radiation,” Dr. Blackburn told dailyRx.

All is not rosy, though. Along with exercise, it’s essential that a woman maintain her weight.

Researchers found that women who gained “a significant amount of weight,” especially after menopause had increased risks of the disease.

This finding suggests that packing on the pounds can negate the benefits of exercise in lowering the risk of breast cancer.

So move your way into a new body. Find something you love to do — walking, yoga, Zumba, tai chi, running — whatever makes you happy. Just move and stay out of the food junk drawer, and you’ll see and feel and love the changes you experience.

This study was published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

By http://www.DailyRX.com

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New Year’s Resolutions to Exercise Pay Off for Heart Disease Patients

ACSM research links exercise with reduced risk of death in patients with existing heart disease

INDIANAPOLIS – In all parts of the world, the start of a  new year inspires adults to give up junk food, join a gym or make  healthier choices. For one group, the resolution to become more active  could literally be the difference between life and death. Research  released today by the American College of Sports Medicine finds that  being more physically active can help adults suffering from heart  disease keep premature death at bay.

The study, “Physical  Activity and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk: Possible Protective  Mechanisms?” is published in this month’s issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®,  the official journal of ACSM. The research team, which included Lee  Ingle, Ph.D., examined the relationship between moderate-to-vigorous  physical activity and mortality risk in patients with cardiovascular  disease.

“It is well established that regular,  moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reduces the risk of future  cardiac events in healthy individuals and individuals with existing  cardiovascular disease,” said Ingle, an academic with the Carnegie  Research Institute at Leeds Metropolitan University in the United  Kingdom. “What are not well understood are the biological mechanisms  responsible for reducing the burden of risk. We examined the extent to  which changes in typical cardiovascular risk factors explained the  association between physical activity and death in individuals with  cardiovascular disease.”

The study included 1,429 participants,  both male and female, with physician-diagnosed heart disease. At a  baseline visit, participants reported demographic information, health  status, disease history, smoking habits and physical activity levels.  Shortly after the baseline visit, nurses recorded medication and body  mass, collected blood samples, and measured blood pressure and resting  heart rate. Within seven years, 446 of the 1,429 participants died.  Death certificates linked 213 of the deaths to cardiovascular disease.

Participation  in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at least three times per week  was associated with a much lower risk of cardiovascular-related death.  Physically active participants demonstrated significantly lower levels  of body mass, diabetes and inflammatory risk. Metabolic risk factors  (including body mass index, total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio, and  physician-diagnosed diabetes) and inflammatory markers (including  C-reactive protein) explained an estimated 12.8 percent and 15.4  percent, respectively, of the association between physical activity and  mortality risk.

“The main finding from this study was that  moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reduces the risk of future  cardiac events, in part, by improving metabolic and inflammatory risk  markers in patients with cardiovascular disease,” said Ingle.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart diseases is the leading cause of death in the U.S. The Exercise is Medicine® initiative offers public tools to help adults combat chronic conditions, such as heart disease, with physical activity.

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The  American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and  exercise science organization in the world. More than 45,000  international, national and regional members and certified professionals  are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to  provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and  sports medicine.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® is the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, and  is available from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins at 1-800-638-6423.  For a complete copy of the research paper (Vol. 44, No. 1, pages 84-88)  or to speak with a leading sports medicine expert on the topic, contact  the Department of Communications and Public Information at 317-637-9200  ext. 133 or 127.

The conclusions outlined in this news release  are those of the researchers only, and should not be construed as an  official statement of the American College of Sports Medicine.

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Easing the Added Stress of Caregiving During the Holidays

For millions of Americans who find themselves in the role of caregiver to an older frail, ill, or disabled relative, the holiday season can add to an already heavy load of responsibilities and cause feelings of stress to soar.

Stress occurs when we work too much, sleep too little, try to cope with difficult or troubling situations, and when we neglect to take good care of ourselves—all of which are typically everyday state of conditions for the millions of Americans who find themselves in the role of caregiver to an older frail, ill, or disabled relative. The added physical and emotional demands that are involved in celebrating the holidays can add to an already heavy load of caregiving responsibilities and cause feelings of stress to soar.

The holidays are traditionally a time when we reflect on past memories. For those who are caring for a frail and elderly family member, these reflections often deepen the awareness of the extent of the older person’s losses (for example, memory loss for those with Alzheimer’s) and how much life has changed for them. Holiday-time reminiscing can also underscore the loss caregivers face in the altered quality of their personal relationship with the older person. The emotional pain of confronting such losses can heighten feelings of stress.

The holidays are also a traditional time for family gatherings. While this can be tremendously enjoyable, when tensions among family members or unresolved conflicts surface, it can become a source of extreme stress. Caregivers too often find themselves in the middle of family discord as they try to mediate the needs of the older person as well as express their own position.

If you are a family caregiver, consider the following suggestions and think about which ones you can put in place during the coming weeks to help ease your feelings of stress during the holidays:

· Set manageable expectations and limits for yourself. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do—as well as what you want to do and don’t want to do.

· Try not to set yourself up for disappointment by comparing this year’s holiday season with the nostalgia of past holidays. Each holiday season is different and can be enjoyed in its own way.

· Ask for and accept help! It’s so often the case that, while people want to be useful, they may not always know what to do. Let other family members and friends know what they can do to share in the responsibility of caregiving. Don’t forget to consider asking people who live at a distance, as well as neighbors and people from faith-based groups or clubs, to pitch in and help.

· Maintain or establish social interaction with friends and other family members. Isolation can further increase feelings of stress. Having the chance to have fun, laugh, and focus on something other than your at-home caregiving responsibilities can help you keep stress at bay and maintain emotional balance.

· Remember the holiday season does not banish reasons for feeling sad or lonely. There’s room for feelings such as sadness, grief and/or loneliness to be present along with other more joyful emotions. If you do feel down, avoid critical self-perceptions, and, instead, try to articulate the understanding you need from those around you. Consider seeking the help of a therapist to help you sort out your feelings and deal with your concerns and troubling issues.

· If the elderly person you are caring for has dementia, avoid overly stimulating environments since that can add to their anxiety and end up increasing your stress level.

· If including the elderly person in large family gatherings creates added work and stress for you, consider alternatives, such as suggesting family members plan to spend individual quality time visiting with their elderly relative.

· Don’t abandon healthful eating and drinking habits. While it’s certainly okay to treat yourself during the holidays, avoid giving in to stress-driven urges for overeating or for overindulging in alcohol.

· Exercise regularly. Even if it means finding someone else to take over your caregiver duties, getting regularly-scheduled exercise—for example, walking, swimming, yoga, biking, or aerobics—can be of tremendous benefit to both your physical and emotional well-being.

· Seek emotional and moral support from other caregivers—there is great strength in knowing you are not alone. Many communities have support groups for family caregivers of elderly persons through local hospitals, churches and/or community centers.

· Use community resources such as meal or shopping services, home-care aides, adult day services, and/or volunteer help from faith-based organizations or civic groups.

· Try to find time for yourself to do something you especially enjoy such as reading, walking, listening to music, gardening and/or visiting with a friend.

· Find ways to ensure you get enough rest. Sleep deprivation can sap your energy, distort your thinking and lead directly to making your mind and your body feel stressed to the maximum.

· If you experience any signs of depression (for example, extreme sadness, trouble concentrating, withdrawal, or hopelessness), don’t delay in getting professional help for yourself. Depression is a serious, but very treatable condition. If left untreated, depression does not “just go away,” instead, the symptoms progressively worsen and can even become debilitating. You can click here for information about depression, including a more detailed list of commonly experienced symptoms and ways to receive help.

Throughout the holiday season (as well as year-round!), remember to be good to yourself. As a family caregiver, you’re doing a very hard job and deserve understanding, support and quality time for yourself to help ensure you meet your own emotional needs. Many caregivers have found that therapy offers life-strengthening help in dealing with the many challenges of caregiving. Therapy can provide a time and place that is devoted exclusively to your feelings, needs, and concerns—and can result in a healthy perspective that allows you to devote your best efforts to your older loved one while also making sure you take the very best care of yourself.

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