Breast cancer treatment takes a pretty big toll on our bodies. So it’s important that when we’re able to, we start to rebuild, and one of the best ways to do this, is through strength training.
Now before you all go running for the hills, DO NOT be scared of strength training. That old image of people pumping huge weights in the gym is not what it’s all about. Well, not for most of us anyway!
Research shows the enormous benefits of strength training following a breast cancer diagnosis:
It can help you get recover more quickly from chemotherapy by improving your overall strength and energy levels
It can help prevent osteoporosis by keeping you bone health in tact
It can help improve your balance and posture
All of this allow you to do the things you need to do in your every day life.
If you're interested in starting strength training after you've finished your treatment, a great option is through the Lift for Life Program. This is an 8-week evidence-based strength program, which is professionally led, and done in small groups (which as a side bonus, also happens to be quite social). It's perfect for any age, and any fitness level. Find your nearest program here: http://www.liftforlife.com.au/
Alternatively you can look to work with an exercise physiologist (search through ESSA) qualified physiotherapist (search through Pinc & Steel) or personal trainer with qualifications in cancer and exercise (search through Fitness Australia).
Strength training is now part of Australia's Physical Activity Guidelines which say:
Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
So regardless of what you've done in the past, it's time to give strength training a go, and make it part of your weekly routine.
LISTEN: Want to learn more? Check out The Pink Movement Podcast Episode 13 with Tina McLaren, where she shares more on the benefits of strength training following a breast cancer diagnosis.