Sweet Louise | Positive Lives with breast cancer

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The 'Sweet Movers'

Five Sweet Louise Members from Wellington undertake a programme of regular exercise to improve their own well-being and motivate others ...

The benefits of exercise for those experiencing cancer are now clinically proven by many international research studies. Taking appropriate and regular exercise can heighten well being and physical ability, raise spirits and improve overall quality of life. For more information about exercise and secondary breast cancer, you may wish to visit the page on this site.

Five Sweet Louise Members from Wellington have undertaken an exercise project to see for themselves if regular and appropriate exercise can make a difference for them. 

Judy, Laraine, Angela (pictured at left, L to R), Colleen and Liz (pictured at right) chose activities that they enjoy or wanted to try and embarked on a five-week programme (some took on extra weeks because they were having such fun!), writing regular Blogs about their progress.

Angela undertook Pink Pilates, Judy and Colleen Aqua Jogging, Laraine Yoga and Liz Golf. 

Let's see how they're getting on! Check in with their Blogs here but first, here's an introduction to the project from Angela.  

    
An introduction from Angela

Hi there,
Before cancer, and even in the early days of cancer, I was fit.

Although my job is mostly sedentary, I would always take the stairs instead of the lift at work, regularly walk around the hilly parts of Wellington and attend a gym.  All on a very regular basis. At that time my oncologist nurse was advising me to slow down and take things easy. She cautioned me about asking too much of my body. When the cancer spread again I started to listen to her wise words. I cancelled my gym membership, walked fewer times each week and avoided the hills. This seemed to have a positive effect on my pain management.


It's hard to know how much to push my body. If I had the choice now I wouldn't get out of the bed each morning due to fatigue. It's hard work to get up, get to work let alone adding exercise into the mix. Yet I know that exercise is really important for my sense of wellbeing, my overall fitness and if nothing else, my bowels.

Knowing how dark and cold it gets here in Wellington in the winter I started to wonder what I could do to motivate myself to get hooked on exercise so that I didn't have to make silly promises just to get my body moving.

I approached Sweet Louise with the idea that if I could get a group of women together who all did whatever exercise they wanted and wrote about the experience that it might motivate other members to give exercise a go, or get back into exercise. Of course, my main motivation was to get ME back into exercise. And quickly, because winter was well on its way.

Finding the women was easy. Some of us have met over coffee. Some of us have been away holidaying in the middle of the process. Some of us have had bad news and challenging treatment during this time. So while we had the idea of exercising for 5 weeks, in reality what you will read is how we all found the process over 5 sessions. Sometimes this was 5 weeks, sometimes longer.

I hope that you will be inspired to give exercise a go and as a result of our blogs will increase whatever exercise you're doing now. We are all doing different things. Liz is blogging about golf.  Judy and Colleen tried aqua jogging. Laraine tried yoga with the instructor who lives down the road from her and who is also a friend. And, I have tried Pink Pilates.

I hope you enjoy reading our blogs. I hope it encourages you to do whatever exercise takes your fancy. Exercise is important as part of your survivorship. Plus, your bowels will thank you. If you need convincing just visit the National Cancer Institute where they note that:
"Research indicates that physical activity after a diagnosis of breast cancer may be beneficial in improving quality of life, reducing fatigue, and assisting with energy balance. Both reduced physical activity and the side effects of treatment have been linked to weight gain after a breast cancer diagnosis. One study found that women who exercised moderately (the equivalent of walking 3 to 5 hours per week at an average pace) after a diagnosis of breast cancer had improved survival rates compared with more sedentary women."


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