Tag Archives: pilates

Breast Cancer Exercise Therapy

Breast Cancer Exercise Therapy

  • Have you or someone you love recently been diagnosed with Breast Cancer?
  • Are you struggling to regain your Range of Movement after Breast Surgery?
  • Are you struggling with fatigue or nausea during Chemo or Radiation?
  • Have you finished treatment and are now wondering what’s next for you?

Working with a qualified Breast Cancer Exercise Therapist can help you manage your treatment side effects, improve your strength, flexibility and ROM, and help you to “Restore your Fitness & Wellbeing”

Women diagnosed with breast cancer usually have surgery, which is often followed by systemic treatments such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation. Many women experience side effects both during and after treatment including fatigue, loss of range of motion and strength in the affected arm, weight gain and poor posture. If lymph nodes have been removed and or radiation treatment undertaken the risk of developing Lymphedema is also an issue.

Typically there are psychological implications to being diagnosed with Breast Cancer and undergoing surgery that may affect your body image. Pilates is one tool that can help survivors regain a sense of control over a body that they may feel has betrayed them.

As a Cancer Exercise Specialist I am qualified to assess, design and implement individual and group exercise programs for clients diagnosed with a wide range of cancers.

I have a special interest in Breast Cancer as a survivor myself and I am skilled in evaluating health behaviours and risk factors, conducting comprehensive fitness assessments, writing appropriate exercise recommendations and motivating clients to maintain positive lifestyle behaviours.

As a graduate of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute I have been trained to develop essential exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors (employing a combination of Pilates and Yoga), and can provide important nutritional guidelines that may give the body the best chance of preventing or recovering from cancer and other debilitating degenerative diseases.

Dont just survive – THRIVE!

Contact me to learn more about Breast Cancer Exercise Therapy.

Control Your Cravings

Craving Chocolate? What is your body really trying to tell you?

I always tell my clients to listen to their bodies, so what if your body is telling you it wants a big block of chocolate or some fried chicken? Does that mean you should go out and satisfy the craving with unhealthy food choices? What is your body trying to tell you through your cravings?

We have all experienced cravings, we should however be careful about the way in which we satisfy them. By understanding what your body is actually deficient in (assuming it is a physical, not an emotional food craving) you can get to the root cause of the crav­ings, and eventually kick those bad eating habits altogether.

BUT – before you satisfy cravings with food take the time to drink a tall glass of pure water. Quite often we misinterpret our body’s signal for thirst as a signal of hunger. By drinking a large glass of water first, you may be giving your body exactly what it wants and alleviate the craving altogether. Some experts estimate that up to 80 percent of the population is chronically dehydrated, so start with water first before you try to understand your cravings.

Still craving a particular type of junk food? If ten minutes after drinking your glass of water your cravings are unsatisfied the table below provides some suggestions about what your body may really telling you. What nutrients your body may need and what good food choices you can make to banish those cravings and stay lean and healthy!

Your Craving

What Your Body Needs

What to Eat Instead

Chocolate 
Magnesium Nuts, Seeds, Legumes, Fruit
Sugary Foods/ Sweets
Carbon

Chromium

Phosphorous

 

Sulphur

Tryptophan

Fresh Fruit

Broccoli, Grapes, Chicken

Chicken, Beef, Fish, Eggs, Nuts, Legumes

Cranberries, Horseradish, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage

Lamb, Liver, Raisins, Sweet Potato, Spinach

Bread, Pasta & Other Carbs
Nitrogen High Protein Foods: Meat, Fish, Nuts
Oily/Fatty Foods
Calcium Legumes, Green Leafy Vegetables, Broccoli
Salty Foods
Chloride Fish
General Overeating
Silicon

Tryptophan

Tyrosine

Nuts & Seeds

Lamb, Liver, Raisins, Sweet Potato, Spinach

Orange, Green or Red Fruits & Vegetables

 

Breast Cancer Exercise Post Mastectomy

Post-Mastectomy Physical Therapy ‘Widely Improves’ Quality of Life

“Postoperative physical therapy that begins as early as 2 days after surgery significantly improves joint mobility and “widely improves the quality of life” for women who underwent mastectomies, according to a new study. Researchers found that women who received physical therapy regained normal glenohumeral function 1 year after surgery and reported less pain, while an untreated control group continued to report limitations.

Italian researchers focused on women scheduled for Madden’s modified radical mastectomy or segmental mastectomy with axillary dissection, dividing a group of 70 women into 2 groups: 1 that received postoperative physical therapy and 1 that did not. Women in the treatment group began physical therapy on the second postoperative day and participated in 40-minute rehabilitation sessions 5 times a week for the duration of the drainage, followed by 20 hour-long sessions after the drainage was removed.

Researchers observed “considerable” improvements in flexion as early as the fifth postoperative day for the treatment group over the control group, and noted continued progress at 1-month, 6-month, and 1-year evaluations. According to the study’s authors, the treated group “regained normal function at 1 year after rehabilitation treatment while [the control group] was unable to do so for flexion, abduction, and internal rotation movements.”

Additionally, the researchers write that physical therapy resulted in “statistically significant differences” in pain perception for the treatment group and even contributed to higher quality-of-life reports from the women who participated in rehabilitation. “Treating and reducing postoperative symptoms, especially pain and functional limitation, helped the patients to have a fast and complete physical and … psychosocial recovery ensuring a significant improvement in terms of quality of life,” the report states. The study is e-published ahead of print at the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.”

References: Direct extract from PT in Motion News, Tues Feb 18, 2014  American Physical Therapy Association.

Pilates, Exercise and Breast Cancer

Pilates, Exercise and Breast Cancer

Pilates for Breast Cancer Survivors
Pilates for Breast Cancer Survivors

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month around the globe so what better time to reinforce the message around exercise and its role in preventing and managing disease.

Pilates is enjoying a surge in worldwide popularity as a form of exercise. Heavily endorsed by celebrities who credit their lean and toned physique to Pilates, it focuses on the whole person, connecting the mind and body through a series of flowing movements to improve strength and flexibility.

Over recent years, appropriately qualified Fitness Professionals and Exercise Therapists have been working with other allied health professionals to incorporate Pilates as part of their general rehabilitation programs for clients recovering from surgery, illness and both chronic and acute injuries.

Increasingly, Breast cancer survivors are benefiting from Pilates and modified Yoga as an effective way of regaining ROM post-surgery and managing side effects from treatment including fatigue and nausea.

Women diagnosed with breast cancer usually have surgery, which is often followed by systemic treatments such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation. Many women experience side effects both during and after treatment including fatigue, loss of range of motion and strength in the affected arm, weight gain and poor posture. If lymph nodes have been removed and or radiation treatment undertaken the risk of developing Lymphedema is also an issue.

Typically there are psychological implications to being diagnosed with Breast Cancer and undergoing surgery that may affect your body image. Pilates is one tool that can help survivors regain a sense of control over a body that they may feel has betrayed them.

As a Cancer Exercise Specialist I am qualified to assess, design and implement individual and group exercise programs for clients diagnosed with a wide range of cancers.

I have a special interest in Breast Cancer as a survivor myself and I am skilled in evaluating health behaviours and risk factors, conducting comprehensive fitness assessments, writing appropriate exercise recommendations and motivating clients to maintain positive lifestyle behaviours.

As a graduate of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute I have been trained to develop essential exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors (employing a combination of Pilates and Yoga), and can provide important nutritional guidelines that may give the body the best chance of preventing or recovering from cancer and other debilitating degenerative diseases.

Some of the Benefits of Exercise in Preventing Cancer

  • Maintenance of a healthy body weight
  • Reduction in levels of fat in and around the abdomen
  • Maintenance of the biological system that regulates blood sugar levels
  • Control of some tumour growth factors
  • Improved immune function
  • Reduced symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and depression
  • Increased levels of free radical scavengers to assist the body in preventing DNA damage

Some of the Benefits of Exercise during Cancer Treatment

  • Increased stamina
  • Increased functional capacity
  • Increased strength and self esteem
  • Improved treatment tolerance
  • Management of pain and fatigue
  • Management of depression and sleep disturbances

Some of the Benefits of Exercise during Recovery from Surgery

  • Increased Range of Motion in the affected arm
  • Regaining pre-diagnosis strength and fitness
  • Managing the fatigue that can linger for months or even years after surgery & treatment
  • Improve postural deviations that can lead to pain and joint deterioration
  • Lose weight and improve body composition
  • Prevent & manage Lymphedema
  • Minimise the risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, and other cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month…..

Is a great time to get started on your journey back to wellness. Contact me now to discuss how I can tailor a Cancer Exercise Program to meet your individual needs.

 

Debunking Health & Fitness Myths

Health & Fitness Myths – Fact or Fiction?

Unravelling the fact and fiction around your fitness regime can be challenging, with all the information out there it can be hard to work out what is fact and what is just marketing hype! As a Personal Trainer my clients often ask me questions about “Fitness Tips” they have heard or read – Here are some of my favourites.

 

Strength training will help you turn fat into muscle!

FICTION: Unfortunately, fat and muscle are two completely different types of tissue. One cannot be turned into the other however it is possible to increase muscle mass which will in turn help to burn fat. When you increase muscle mass, you increase your basal metabolic rate or the amount of calories your body needs to burn to maintain homeostasis. This means that the more muscle your body has the better it will be at burning fat.

With the right Personal Trainer I can target fat reduction in my “problem” areas!

FICTION: I am sorry to disappoint you again but you can’t pick and choose areas where you’d like to burn fat! Spot reduction is the misconception that if you work a specific muscle group you will decrease the amount of fat in that area. The most common example of this is people focusing on abdominal exercises in an effort to lose weight in their stomach area; this is just not going to work! Fat can only be lost from the body as a whole and in an order that is predetermined by your genetics. In order to burn overall body fat I recommend a workout that includes both High Intensity Interval Training and Strength Training. This will decrease your overall body fat percentage, including your “problem” areas. Remember, exercise alone is not enough, you also need to be making good healthy decisions about the fuel you put into your body.

Lack of Sleep Leads to Weight Gain!

FACT: When you’re sleep deprived, leptin (the hormone that signals fullness) falls, while ghrelin (which signals hunger) rises. This combination leads to an increase in appetite. Sleep deprivation tends to lead to food cravings, particularly for sweet and starchy foods. Research suggests that sugar cravings stem from the fact that your brain is fuelled by glucose (blood sugar). So, when lack of sleep occurs, your brain is unable to properly respond to insulin (which drives glucose into brain cells) and you crave carbohydrates to keep going. If you’re chronically sleep deprived, consistently giving in to these sugar cravings will virtually guarantee that you’ll gain weight. Getting proper sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight.

Women who lift weights will bulk up!

FICTION: While on a strength program, the right hormones (testosterone) are necessary in order to bulk up. Women’s testosterone levels are much lower than men’s, so in most cases, they are not capable of building large muscles. In fact, since muscle takes up less room than fat, women tend to lose inches when they strength train. So in addition to the physical benefits (increased metabolism, decreased risk of osteoporosis, increased strength), strength training will help you slim down too!

No pain, no gain!

FICTION: You should definitely not be feeling pain during exercise. Discomfort due to the intensity of the workout? Yes. Fatigue in your muscles? Yes. But not pain! Effort and discomfort go together and that’s what most people would call good pain. You generally expect to feel some level of discomfort during exercise however if it becomes actual pain – burning, stabbing or sharp pain, that’s not a good sign and you should stop. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that it’s beginning to breakdown. So listen to your body when you exercise.

Exercise Boosts Brainpower!

FACT: Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function. Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity and increased productivity.