Stage IV MBC Fitness
Hello! Welcome! We are done with Stage IV, moving on and planning to staying healthy for a long time. We're Stage V (Which is not dead. We're doing fine, ready to live with this beast.)
This is the American Cancer Society/NCI consensus on exercise for cancer patients.
- 150 minutes/week moderate-intense aerobic exercise or 75 minutes/week of vigorous exercise
- Strength training 2-3 times/week, 8-10 exercises of 10-15 repetitions/set, with at least one set per session
- Return to normal daily activities as quickly as possible
- Continue normal daily activities and exercise as much as possible during and after non-surgical treatments
- Avoid Inactivity!!!
OMG. The PhD's who wrote these guidelines obviously do not have MBC, but we get the point.
I find the advice in the book The First 20 Minutes more relevant and achievable than the ACS guidelines. The point of the book is that 20 minutes of daily, consistent exercise, any kind, has a huge effect on our health. I've seen studies that show that 15 minutes of moderate exercise (a brisk walk, moving yoga) two or three times a day is better for recovery then a single tough workout.
However, the ACS/NCI guidelines can motivate us. They remove any doubts about the benefits of exercise for MBC. This thread is about showing up and doing your best despite the fatigue, pain and dark clouds that plague us all. If your goal is a trip to Walmart or a marathon you will find support here.
The article Lifestyle modifications for patients with breast cancer to improve prognosis and optimize overall health summarizes the data on lifestyle changes on survival outcomes. It is worth reading in its entirety, but here is a summary of key points.
Exercise and maintaining your ideal body weight are the most important lifestyle interventions you can do if you want to decrease your risk of breast cancer recurrence and death. Physical activity (150 minutes per week, moderate intensity) can reduce the chance of death from breast cancer by up to 40%.
Two analyses showed a substantial inverse dose–response effect between hours per week engaged in physical activity and breast cancer mortality.26,27 Similar beneficial metabolic effects have been shown for both aerobic and resistance exercise, but optimal results are achieved with a combination of the two.22
A population-based study in the United States involving 856 women found that only 13% of breast cancer survivors attained the recommended 150 minutes of exercise each week, and with increasing time after diagnosis, only about 10% comply with the recommendation. 28 Patients who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation have significantly greater decreases in physical activity, by 50% and 24% respectively, compared with patients who have not experienced these therapies.22
As noted in the article, a combination of aerobic and resistance training is optimal. Resistance exercise has more durable effects than aerobic exercise and improves your aerobic workout. You don't need weights or a gym membership. Gather a door knob, a cheap Theraband and a little time and commitment and you'll be quite sore. Bodyweight exercises are equally effective and require no toys at all.
You are all welcome to buy a Fitbit, join the Stage V Fitbit Group and challenge us to keep moving through the year. You will need to PM me with a personal email to get an invitation from the Fitbit community that I run. The Fitbit is just a fun side thing to motivate anyone interested. It's not for everyone and it's not the point of this thread.
One theme that keeps coming up in this thread is the challenge of working out in bad weather or if you are tied to oxygen or just unable to get out of the house. We often need a 10-20 minute indoor routine that is a motivating and provides an easy way to get back into working out. Leslie Sansone videos are excellent. I personally like the Fitbit exercise plans that you can get through their app and the Nike+ Fitness programs on my phone or my Xbox/Kinect system. These videos are all great at providing a short, effective medicinal dose of exercise.
Yoga does wonders for joint pain and increases energy. I can run about twice as far when I have a regular yoga practice (4-5 times per week). I can do this yoga sequence recommended by DGHoff in 15 minutes. It is taken from this study which showed the sequence improved bone density if you practice regularly over an extended period. Generally I mix in some ab work between poses and add a couple of resistance exercises for a 30-40 minute routine. Highly recommended as a component of an exercise routine.
I'm a determined person. I've exercised all my life, but I have many days where it is hard to just get out of bed much less make it to the gym. Thank you for your support it's made a huge difference in my treatment and my life.
Let's kill it in 2018.