“If exercise were a pill, it would be the most widely prescribed medicine in the world.”
It’s one of my favorite all-time quotes about exercise. It’s truth, I believe, is irrefutable! And it applies to everyone... including, and perhaps especially, cancer patients!
Survive, Thrive & Be Fit is good medicine for area cancer patients/survivors. It’s medicine with few adverse side effects as long as it is taken reasonably and within our individual limits. Its FREE! Its FUN!
Physical activity is an important component of the fight against cancer. Studies have shown that exercise can be beneficial in managing cancer, its symptoms, and both short and long term side effects of treatment.
There is epidemeological evnidence that physical activity, combined with other healthy lifestyle practices, appears to prevent certain cancers such as colon, breast, prostate and possibly lung, digestive system, thyroid, bladder, and some blood cancers. For those undergoing treatment for cancer, exercise has been shown to provide benefits including improved physical function, relief from fatigue, nausea, pain, and depression. Exercise enables people who survive cancer and endure treatment with a means to recover their physical functions and return to a healthy and active lifestyle. In other words... it can be beneficial before, during and after cancer!
Reduced activity following a cancer diagnosis can have detrimental affects and lead to chronic disabilities that may adversely impact the lives of cancer patients/ survivors well beyond the treatment phase and into remission/cure and beyond.
But many of the comments I hear from Survive, Thrive & Be Fit participants is that their involvement in ST&BF goes beyond the physical benefits. Many say it has positively influence and motivated them to get back to life and living again. Some have expressed the variety of ST&BF activities has allowed them to discover and develop an identity beyond their diagnosis. Many have gone from being “cancer patients” to becoming what I refer to as “survivor-athletes”!
When you have been diagnosed with cancer, sometimes it can feel like your world has spun out of control. Of course, with a cancer diagnosis (as with life), there are no guarantees and any amount of physical activity will not assure a positive outcome from the disease or its related treatment. But taking on the physical challenge to Survive, Thrive & Be Fit, can restore a sense of control in one’s life.
Taking on some of the shared physical challenges that are an option with many of our ST&BF activities (such as the Indoor Row Group’s Lake Michigan Crossing this past March) can enhance one’s sense of community, connectedness and interdependence that is both life-affirming and life-enhancing.
Perhaps the biggest benefit that comes out of participation in any of the many ST&BF activities is meeting other cancer patients/survivors and co-survivors. Many participants in ST&BF have built long-lasting friendships and networks that can prove invaluable as, together, we face the many challenges and vicissitudes of life, including and beyond cancer!
Current and upcoming ST&BF activities include: Gentle Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Qigong for Cancer Survivors, Indoor Row Group, Great Heights with Delightful Kites, ST&BF at the Christopher Farm & Gardens, Steps to Survivorship (walk/runs), Swinging Survivors/Drive to Survive (golf, driving range, miniature golf at Sunset Hills Golf Course), Navigating Along the Cancer Journey (orienteering), Pickleball Play, DISC-over DISC Golf, Survivorship Through the Lens (outdoor digital photography), CUMULATIVE Marathon Walk/Run & Century Bike Ride, Active Survivors of Sheboygan (fitness log).
Watch this Local Cancer Community Update and, if interested, make sure you are also on the ST&BF POP UP e-mail list for details about upcoming opportunities!
ST&BF “POP UP” outings are typically last-minute outdoor activities based on weather conditions that are announced, usually a few days in advance, via e-mail. These “POP UP” sessions have been instrumental in keeping many of us connected throughout this ongoing pandemic and have proven to be effective and successful... so watch for more ST&BF POP UP outdoor opportunities and activities throughout spring, summer, and fall!
ST&BF “POP UP” activities to watch for in the months ahead: