Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cancer Patients Benefit When Engaged in Fun Exercise Routines

Today’s post was written by our guest David Haas from Syracuse, New York. He is a cancer support group and awareness program advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in the US. We are very pleased to have his blog contribution and he can be contacted at davdhaas@gmail.com

Creating fun exercise routines is important for people with cancer.  Cancer patients go through a tremendous amount of physical, mental, and emotional stress throughout the duration of the disease.  Everyone handles cancer differently and the disease is extremely severe in some people where forms of exercise can seem almost impossible to accomplish.  Because of this, it is important to create an exercise routine and schedule that is tailored to the individual’s personal needs, health level, and physical ability.

One of the biggest signs of failure when creating an exercise and fitness regiment is making a fitness schedule that is not varied.  Variation is not only important to keep a person motivated and inspired, but it is also important to work out different parts of the body.  While some people may be able to begin with moderate levels of exercise, others may feel strong enough to start with a bit more intense of a workout schedule.  It is important for cancer patients to consult with a physician before beginning any regular workout or fitness schedule.  Medically monitored fitness routines can greatly benefit a person who has mesothelioma cancer, or different forms of cancer.  

In the past exercise was largely discouraged by cancer patients. But in 1996 research by Dr. Donald McKenzie at The University of British Columbia and his program “A Breast in a Boat”, proved that exercise was very beneficial to the survival and recovery of cancer patients.

It is advisable to get a doctors opinion to monitor a person’s workout schedule and help the individual decide when it is safe to increase time frames on fitness sessions.  This provides a safe and effective way of working out for cancer patients.  Live Strong is a nationally known in the US that provides valuable information on exercise and nutrition for people who want to increase the quality of their lives.  On the Live Strong website is a list of fun physical activities and information on how to put variety into an active physical fitness schedule is provided.  

For people local to Vancouver, there is an organization called Inspire Health who provide integrative care for cancer patients, their families, and those who are healthy and wanting to get ahead of the to make the best lifestyle choices to keep cancer at bay.

These organizations suggest that people who enjoy walking, hiking, or jogging alternate their courses and take a different route each time they go out.  In addition to mixing up the courses with neighborhood walks, mall walks, seaside walks, and nature hikes, and jogging on trails, the site also suggests recording distances and creating distance goals for the near future.  It is also helpful to set a pace goal.  Setting a pace goal can help a person strive towards completing a certain distance within a specific time frame.  This activity can help to provide wonderful cardio exercise as well as strengthen muscles in the body by pushing them further.

Walking, hiking, and jogging are ideal exercises for cancer patients because these forms of exercise can be as mild or as strenuous as a person desires.  People who are beginning exercise routines with very little energy can begin a mild walk every other day for ten minutes, or for the amount of time a person feels up to walking.  Times and distances can be increased to maximize the physical benefits a person receives from exercising.  

In addition to these fitness activities, golfing, horseback riding, bowling, and swimming are also ideal forms of fitness that help to keep a person with cancer active and physically in shape.

Thanks David Haas. It’s great to see people out there spreading the good word about the benefits of regular exercise and physical activity.



Friday, June 8, 2012

Witness Their Fitness

After a small hiatus in blogging I’d like to tell you about what happened about a month ago.

In April, we kicked off the 17th annual Bentall Kennedy Fitness Month which involved 29 fitness & wellness events in 30 days for 240 corporate employees involving all types of physical activity, eating right, and team spirit!

The events commenced with the Bentall Centre Athletic Clubs head to toe Health and Fitness Appraisal (HFA) which helps the participants reveal their body’s current state of wellness regarding body composition, musculoskeletal fitness, lifestyle habits, and vital signs. The rest of the programming involved:  a fiercely competitive 5 week Wallyball tournament (indoor Volleyball), The Vancouver 10km Sun Run and training camp, indoor rock climbing, a North Shore hike to Quarry Rock, a Ski and Snow day at Mt. Seymour, Yoga, Boxing, Golf, Frisbee Golf, and 8 bootcamp style core, spin, and fitness classes.

Now that’s variety.

I’m pleased to report that 40 of our most regular participants made a log of their physical activity during April’s fitness month events which tallied up to 224 attendances and 881 hours of physical activity. Yeah! That’s what I call a work/lifestyle balance.

That means on average we had about 22 hours of exercise of per person for the week of April. Great stuff, however our overall goal is to encourage people to get active every day for about an hour, which on average leaves us a few hours short per person this year.

However, some far exceeded this expectation… and I’d like to give a big congratulations to David Kwan for being out top participant and logging 45 hours of activity and a whopping 85 points. Hooo Raaah David!

Lastly, it’s great to be involved with a company such as Bentall Kennedy who is very conscientious about their employee’s wellness and encourage participation in fun and engaging fitness programs like this, and also who welcome the families to be involved as much as possible for the fitness events.

In closing I’d like to communicate to you the message endorse to all of our clients and that is:  to get active, eat healthy, and be regular about it. Feelin’ good is worth it. And the best way to get feel good is to get regular exercise, stretch often, and watch what (and how much) you eat from time to time.


Cameron – Fitness Month Leader.
Registered Kinesiologist
Athletic Director – The Bentall Centre Athletic club