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Fitness during and after breast cancer

The American Cancer Society states that more than two million women living in the US today have been treated for breast cancer. Luckily, we live at a time where improved treatment options often provide the chance for extended life.

Kelly Farris,  ACSM CPT

Now, for most women, a breast cancer diagnosis may prove in hindsight to be a rough bump in the road, while the length of that road ultimately remains unchanged. (Kaelin 2006)

While these treatments are life saving, they exact a heavy toll on a woman’s body. If you are a woman who is currently undergoing treatment or in the recovery phase, you might feel as if you couldn’t possibly exercise at this time. It might seem counterintuitive, but exercise could actually help your energy levels.

A growing body of research finds exercise provides a number of physical benefits to breast cancer patients and survivors. Exercise during and after treatment reduces the risk of cancer reoccurrence; increases the chance of living a longer and healthier life; combats treatment induced fatigue; improves range of motion and mobility after mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries; reverses muscle loss; regains/increases strength; keeps bones healthy; lessens the side effect of nausea and improves sleep.

There are also psychological benefits. Exercise gives a regained sense of control over life, lessens depression symptoms and aides in an overall sense of well being. In a small group setting there are the added advantages of support and camaraderie.

Awhile back, a long talk with a client inspired me to create a fitness resource specific to the breast cancer survivors in our community. Ladies Workout Snellville is excited to announce Breast Friends Fitness (BFF). BFF is a small group fitness program tailored to the needs of breast cancer survivors. It is led by certified cancer survivor trainers and is endorsed by Harvard Medical School and The American College of Sports Medicine. BFF is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle and positive body image to all breast cancer survivors. Please contact Ladies Workout Snellville at 770-985-6070 for additional information. Kelly Farris is the owner of Ladies Workout Snellville, Time4 Results Personal Training and the President of KLF Fitness.