Health & Fitness

Contributions from

These are the experiences, ideas and views of each individual person featured here. Your own situation may be different and these ideas may not work for you.

Craig
Diagnosed in 2013

Health & Fitness

I think exercise is really important for reducing stress levels, if nothing else. I've been playing softball in a local group for almost 33 years, so everybody knows each other. The camaraderie is awesome. They are all well aware of my situation since I've been extremely public with it from day one with my blog, so everybody is always asking me how I'm doing.

It's a wonderful support group and softball is kind of secondary to just socializing with the guys, and, of course, having a beer afterwards.

I keep trying to return to daily workouts at the gym but because I am still working full time, I just haven't gotten back on track.

Dann
Diagnosed in 2006

Health & Fitness

I am much more diligent about making sure I get my exercise in. My office is on the seventh floor and I walk up to it twice a day. I've been doing that for the last four years and I've counted 160,000 steps during that time.

Exercise is an important part of being healthy, feeling good about yourself and making your treatment work better for you as well.

It has become more important since I began treatment and when I was going in for surgeries. I had a couple of different lung surgeries, and both times I decided beforehand to do training for surgery. I wanted to make sure that my cardio conditioning was as good as possible, and my core strength was even better so that I wouldn't get too sore lying in bed for days.

Deena
Diagnosed in 2012

Health & Fitness

My New Year's resolution was to sign up for Yoga and Zumba. It's at a local community center.

I was worried that I might not be able to do it, but it's worth a try.

I don't really think about exercise more now though. When I'm walking on a regular basis I feel good. I should probably do research on how to do breathing exercises on how to increase my stamina.

Diane
Diagnosed in 2013

Health & Fitness

When I first started feeling better, it was a goal of mine to go out and walk, and I had to start by walking from this house to three houses down. The next day it was five houses, and then it was seven houses, and when I went to the end of the block it was like a miracle had happened.

When I finally did walk all the way down to the end of the block, an older lady from the other side of the street came out and said "I'm so glad to see you!." That does a lot to lift your spirits, too.

I don't like aerobic exercise because I don't like getting out of breath, but I've always done yoga. I think that exercise is a really important part of keeping it together. Sometimes you have to modify it but you should always try.

Emily
NED (No evidence of disease) for two years

Health & Fitness

I have chosen to make walking my main exercise, and I also do Pilates now. This has been really helpful in terms of gaining back some muscle mass and mobility that I lost during the downtime after surgery and radiation.

For me, getting back to my fighting shape - or whatever you want to call it - and using exercise to do that, has been so important. I want to feel strong again, and I want my body to be as strong as possible. For me, having one lung has meant that I've had to take exercise slowly, and build up endurance little by little. But I've been amazed at how much I'm now able to do. The cardio has been so important to expand the one lung that I have left so that I'm able to do more things. It was hard at first, but it's gotten much easier.

I remember specifically the day that I was able to walk three miles. I recalled what I had been able to do the year before (which was to barely walk around the block), and was amazed at the progress. Mentally, it's just so important to look back and to give yourself a moment to remember where you were, and how far you've come.

Now, I exercise almost out of gratitude that I'm able to do so, and out of marvel at what my body can do with one lung.

George
Diagnosed in 2013

Health & Fitness

George

My exercise is walking. I wouldn't say that someone recently diagnosed should become a marathoner, but I do think it's very important to stay active and to find something that fits you.

Whether it's yoga or walking, it does empower you to recognize you have control over your body and there's still stuff you can do in life and things you can enjoy. If you had a sedentary existence, look to take up something - but something you enjoy.

Even if it's going shopping or going to a movie. Cancer can be very isolating, especially for people that are newly diagnosed.

Cancer for me is about living the life that you have, and finding the things you can do at whatever level.

There are apps like MapMyWalk and the FitBit bracelet. I set myself a challenge to see how far I've walked. It is amazing over time - suddenly I realize I've done quite a bit. It's very encouraging and very positive for my psyche.

Linda

We try and walk a couple of miles a day. It is very empowering. If you walked two miles before you were diagnosed and you can still walk two miles after, that's a sense of normal.

We went to a conference and pulmonary rehab was suggested. It's not something we've looked into yet but I think we should have at the very beginning.

Janet
Diagnosed in 2011

Health & Fitness

I'm trying to make sure that I get exercise every single day, whether it's gentle yoga, walking on the treadmill while watching TV with my son, or going out for a walk with my family to a nice place.

When exercising, I used a device called a pulse oximeter to track my blood oxygen saturation. When my oxygen saturation dropped too low, I knew I needed to slow down or exercise more gently. This technique helped me rebuild some of my stamina and lung capacity after lung cancer treatment.

Lydia
Diagnosed in 2008

Health & Fitness

You can't tell now but I used to be very athletic!

I read on Inspire about a lady who made herself walk to the kitchen. That doesn't seem hard for some people, but for some of us it would be. So I started walking. It helped me. You see things differently. You see the birds, you look at the world different.

Every day I set a goal to do certain things and I make sure I meet those goals by the end of the day.

Richard
Diagnosed in 2004

Health & Fitness

I never liked exercising! If I had two healthy lungs today, I'm not sure how much exercising I'd do. I'd probably be playing tennis but going to the gym was probably my least favorite thing.

Now I have no choice, so I go to the gym seven days a week. I have to relearn breathing, so my diaphragm is really important to how I breathe. It really should be for everybody, but for me it's essential.

I have to think of everything, I can't take any chances.

Every time I'm in the gym I try to do a little more if I can, but there are days I just don't feel good so those days I just challenge myself to do the best I can.

Stephanie
Diagnosed in 2012

Health & Fitness

I walk probably three miles a day at least. I wear a pedometer with an alarm and one day last week I logged 16,000 steps, that's pretty good, it's almost 7 miles.

I set myself challenges and I've challenged several people that I know. I'm very competitive and I like to be number one. I'll take that extra three miles if I know what it takes to beat them.

After my surgery, if I could walk from the den to the restroom that was an accomplishment some days. Now I could just go out tomorrow and start throwing a ball, I would be sore but I would be fine. Right after surgery I thought, "Will this ever end, this cough, this pain?" It just goes away slowly.

I think the best thing that ever happened was that people were staying with me everyday, and I was lying on the couch trying to get better. My husband had to go back to work, my brothers had to go back home, I was on my own.

I didn't want to be on my own so I enrolled my friends. I said can I come to your house Monday, your house Tuesday, yours Wednesday? I go to other people's houses and I had to move around and do for myself. That was the turning point, and then it just came naturally.

Susan
Diagnosed in 2011

Health & Fitness

Before my diagnosis I was doing TRX and Pilates. Belonging to this wonderful club I used to take all the hard classes because I was in good shape, no problem.

I'm back doing what I did, but I don't do the really hard stuff anymore.

I used to take two or three classes at a time. I used to get there in the morning and do aerobics, and then end up with a yoga class.

Now I just go to the yoga class. I'm just a little sensitive about the fatigue.

I'm one of those people who like to exercise. I like taking the classes and the camaraderie and all that stuff. I love yoga, and I do it all the time.

The Qigong is new. I never did that before, but now it's very important for me, I really like it.

Books

I love Kris Carr's "Crazy, Sexy Cancer" and I just got one of her new books - "Crazy Sexy Kitchen." She's wonderful, she's great, she's had it, she still has it and she's worked around it and her attitude really helped me. "Okay so you got cancer, big deal. What are you going to do - stay home? Just live your life and enjoy it." I've learned that from her.

I do acupuncture every week. I really recommend it. I go to an acupuncturist who specializes in cancer, which is really important for me. She really knows what she's doing and it gets my immune system working. I believe in acupuncture.

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