Before cancer entered my life, I was a gym rat. Physical exercise was part of my daily routine and working out made me feel relaxed and healthier. Being diagnosed with cancer all that changed, as my energy plummeted, along with my physical, emotional and mental health.
🤸During treatments, I did not have the stamina to do my usual workout routine. In fact, I did nothing the first few weeks, as my days were filled with tests, appointments and surgeries. It wasn't until I found chair yoga that movements would begin again, but in a totally different, non-strenuous way. It wasn't my typical workout, however I felt calmer and my body was grateful for the simple movements. In fact, it was an opportunity to really start to listen to my body and what it needed. And that was brand new for me!
After treatment, 15 years later, a wee bit older and hopefully wiser, I have resumed a level of physical exercise that's right for me. I practice yoga several times a week and attend classes where I lift light weights that strengthen my bones, muscles and mind.
With the knowledge I have gained I share this: Do what feels right for YOU! Listen, listen, listen to your body, as It will speak to you! Find what works for you in the space you are in. Your body knows exactly what it needs and wants, so honor that!
Here are a few tips:
1. Feel free to exercise at your own pace. Easy does it.
2. Even the smallest movement can count, just make an effort to do something. It helps mentally too.
3. Don't care about what others think- if you are working out, outside of your home. If perhaps your head is bald or whatever it might be, it's okay to be YOU. In fact, people will show up and support you and love you just as you are.
4. Practice balance...Honor your body and what you are going through. What you could do pre-cancer, may not be your norm NOW.
5. Exercise has its benefits. It can boost energy, reduce fatigue, manage stress and anxiety. Improve bone and heart health and prevent weight gain.
I am not remotely the same gal that I was before cancer. Today, I AM a strong, courageous warrior woman who loves, appeciates and listens to her body. I choose to nourish my gorgeous body temple with healthy foods, drinks, kindness and compassion. I live in the moment and love life to its fullest. Cancer gave me all of these gifts!
I wish you the same. Be healthy, be well, be kind and be happy!