© 2018 The Pink Movement

TPM #20: Getting moving at any age...with Chris Mitchell

February 20, 2018



Getting yourself moving after a breast cancer diagnosis is absolutely vital, and the good news is, you're never too old to start!

Over 80% of those diagnosed with breast cancer are between the ages of 50 and 70. Of those, some may have been active prior to diagnosis, but many will have not. 

In this podcast episode 63-year-old breast cancer survivor Chris Mitchell shares with us how she keeps active as well as her many recommendations, tips and pieces of advice advice on how you can get moving to.



CHATTING WITH…Chris Mitchell

There couldn’t be a better person to talk with about age not being a barrier to exercise than 63-year old breast cancer survivor, Chris Mitchell.


Chris is a wife, mum and grandmother of two and continues to work full-time. She is an amazing women, and is a true inspiration.


Having always been involved in sport, Chris didn’t let her breast cancer diagnosis in 2005 stop her. In fact, it motivated her even more to be active, fit and healthy.


Since her diagnosis Chris has become a qualified Gym Instructor and Group Fitness Trainer, has taken up the sport of dragon boating, and subsequently represented both NSW and Australia in this newly chosen sport of hers.


Heavily involved in the breast cancer community, Chris also volunteers for BCNA as a Consumer Representative and Community Liaison, and as a helper for the the Look Good Feel Better program.


On top of all of that Chris is passionate about motivating others with a breast cancer diagnosis, and helping them to manage the difficulties and obstacles around getting healthier, feeling stronger and staying that way.




  • HOW 63-year-old Chris Mitchell keeps active

  • TIPS and ADVICE from Chris on getting moving

  • TYPES of exercise to consider

  • RECOMMENDED dose of exercise

  • Chris’s explanation of WHAT exercise actually is




How 63-year-old Chris Mitchell keeps active

Chris loves to stay active and healthy. Currently she does dragon boating numerous times a week, runs and does sit ups and push ups every day. She also does kettle bell work to get her strength training in (and even carries a kettle bell in her car!).

Previously Chris has played squash and tennis, and even completed three half-marathons!


“It’s not about smashing yourself, just move more, and be healthier”


Tips and advice from Chris on how to get moving

  • You don’t need to smash yourself, just focusing on moving each day

  • The old saying if you don’t use it you lose it is true! So keeping your body active will help in all areas of your life.

  • If you want to lose weight, make sure it’s sustainable. Crash diets may work for a period of time, however as soon as you stop, the weight goes straight back on.

  • Exercise should be something you enjoy, and that fits into your lifestyle

  • Be realistic about what you want to achieve

  • You don’t have to go to the gym! You can do it yourself if you want to.

  • Getting started is the hardest part…but you do have to start

  • Set a program for yourself that’s achievable

  • If you do need help, go along to a gym or seek help from a professional

  • Don’t wait to get started! You can do it throughout surgery and treatment, and in fact it’s incredibly beneficial if you do that

  • If you can, have a bit of a goal in mind – and they don’t have to be big, small goals will do.

  • If you feel it will help, us a FitBit or activity tracker to monitor your movement

  • If you can, find a buddy to exercise with


Types of exercise to consider

  • Dragon Boating with Dragons Abreast

  • Swimming or aqua aerobics

  • Dancing

  • Stretching

  • Walking

  • Gardening

  • Yoga

  • Pilates

  • Group exercise classes

  • Team or individual sports

  • Bush walking

  • Hiking

  • Strength / weight training

  • Incidental exercise (housework, shopping etc)


Recommended dose of exercise

  • 150 min of aerobic exercise a week – 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Can be a brisk walk, swim, etc.

  • 2-3 resistance sessions a week – lifting weights at a moderate intensity

Both of the above are crucial to achieve the benefits.

The most important elements here is the QUALITY of the exercise. 

But if you can’t do the above, any activity is better than none, and generally speaking, more is better than less.


What is exercise?

What exactly does that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise look like? Chris shares a great analogy – to reach the required limit of exertion you should be able to talk, but you shouldn’t be able to sing!




“Exercise should be something you enjoy, so find something that you love, and that fits into your lifestyle”




BCNA Breast Cancer & Exercise booklet - https://www.bcna.org.au/media/4042/bcna_exercise_and_breast_cancer_booklet.pdf

Dragons Abreast Australia - https://dragonsabreast.com.au/

Find an exercise physiologist: https://www.essa.org.au/find-aep/

Find a trainer with qualifications in cancer and exercise: http://fitness.org.au/directory/reps/1
Find a Pinc Physiotherapist: http://www.pincandsteel.com/our-physios/find-a-physio/

TED Talk: A new contender in the fight against cancer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIQh4fUZkJs



Email: chrissie_m_@hotmail.com




Web: www.thepinkmovement.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thepinkmovement.com.au/
Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/thepinkmovementclub/

Email: christy@thepinkmovement.com.au


P.S. Love TPM Podcast? Review me on iTunes



Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload