If you’re battling cancer, here are 9 ways a fitness program can help

A guest post by David Haas
Family hospitality coordinator
Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Note from Bethy: I don't usually host guest bloggers, but when someone writes to me and says that "moving their assets" has taken him/her through a rough time, whether it's stress, depression or illness, how can I refuse?

This guest blog post is by David Haas who is the family hospitality coordinator with the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. David is a strong believer that exercise is imperative for cancer patients. He knows this first hand because he has seen the effect that exercise has had on friends and family members who’ve dealt with cancer. 

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Here’s what David wrote:

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If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or know someone who has, here’s important advice from a panel of 13 researchers with expertise in cancer, fitness, obesity, and exercise training:

Avoid inactivity.

Scientific studies repeatedly show the close link between battling cancer and feeling better through exercise. In fact, a study by the American College of Sports Medicine shows what many of us have suspected all along, that fitness plays a big role in helping people improve their lives, even after a cancer diagnosis.

For example, 2 of the biggest issues in the daily fight against cancer are pain and depression. Pain can seem to come from all sides. A medically prescribed exercise program can be a great way to control pain while helping you gain strength and improve appearance.

It is easy to get depressed with a diagnosis, while undergoing treatment or coping with changes to life. A fitness program is a good way to deal with all the problems while helping to keep your focus on short-term goals and boost your confidence.

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Studies show that exercise can help you cope with the psychological and physical challenges that may happen during and after your diagnosis since the body releases chemicals that lift mood, promote relaxation and relieve pain.

Here are 7 more ways a fitness program can help you when you’re battling cancer:

  • Improves your circulation
  • Improves the health of your bones
  • Increases your appetite
  • Rebuilds lost muscle mass
  • Decreases nausea and pain
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Reduces fatigue

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If you’re a cancer patient or survivor exploring fitness options, it is important to find the types of exercise that are safe for your lifestyle. Consult with a medical professional to explore the various options and find a program that is right for you. Not all exercises are right for everyone; people suffering from mesothelioma, for example, would get different recommendations than those suffering from other types of cancers.

An expert can help you find an appropriate regimen that focuses on areas where you need improvement, such as muscle strength, aerobic fitness or energy. Targeting what you need will help improve your quality of life.

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, or you’re going through treatments, or you’re in remission, exercise can increase your flexibility, strength, cardiovascular activity and endurance, lift your mood, fight pain and increase your confidence.

That’s a win-win that can help you successfully battle cancer and get on with life.

–David Haas
Family Hospitality Coordinator
Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance
Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog
David's blog
Google+ page


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 You already know I believe that moving rather than sitting on your assets can help, if not dramatically improve, any ache, illness or stressful situation that is ailing you! You will read a lot more about this in my upcoming book, Move Your Assets: From the Chair, Not the Bank!

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Awesome people (who put away our freakin’ shopping carts!)

You already know I have a ginormous pet peeve about not returning your shopping cart (“wagon” to my fellow New Yawkas) to the store, let alone to the convenient cart rack that’s just 2 spaces down from your parked car. Don’t even get me started!

My pet peeve has led me to make 2 amazing discoveries:

1. A $3,000 electric shopping cart returner (I kid you not)
2. Thomas Garces

I discovered them both at the even-more-amazing Super Walmart! (Don’t knock it till you try it; in a future blog post I’ll reveal some awesome healthy and even organic products that you can purchase at Walmart for dollars less than everywhere else!)

So there I am stocking my trunk with groceries and toiletries, and ready to return my shopping “wagon” to the convenient rack — when I get this strange feeling that I’m being stalked by “Wall-E,” that infamous robot that I love so much. Only this one wasn’t as cute and made a lot more noise.

Shopping cart retriever
The “operator” of this noisy robot was a man named Thomas Garces and you know I had to interview him.

Thomas Garces
Thomas explained to me that this machine costs $3,000 -– and its sole purpose is to retrieve carts that lazy shoppers don’t return to the convenient racks but instead leave all over the parking lot. (I added in the “lazy,” mind you; Thomas is much nicer than I am.)

Pause and think about this for a moment and reflect on what this says about us! Someone actually had to come up with this invention to support this “lazy” habit of ours: a very pricey machine to assist the employee whose primary purpose is to round up all the stray carts scattered throughout parking lots!

These carts are scattered because Americans just don’t feel like walking a few extra yards to be considerate and get a little bit of movement that their bodies crave:

Shopping cart

I mean, can you believe this:

Shopping carts
As a result, Thomas and his robot are employed full time to clean up our messes. And yes, we are paying higher prices for groceries to cover the cost of both of these men (actually, I can't confirm robotron's gender, but I will refer to "it" as a male.)

I want Thomas to have a full-time job. He’s an awesome guy and really appreciates his job. I know most of you have certain image of a Walmart employee; Thomas is nothing like that!! He has a huge smile on his face and he takes pride in the fact that he has “racked” up 300-500 carts per day for more than 30 years! He had no problem letting me interview him and his robotic assistant. 

It should come as no surprise to you that Thomas is in awesome shape. He literally moves his assets (even with his remote control robot) at least 8 hours per day! He is close to 50 years old and has not an ounce of body fat on him. (OK, it doesn’t hurt that he's a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu!)

So, here are the 2 lessons I want you to take away from this: 

1. If you don’t put your cart away, someone will do it for you and be in a lot better shape than you are.

2. Don’t knock Walmart and some of its fabulous employees till you really try it!

More about point #2 in an upcoming blog post!

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