Tag Archives: cancer survivor

Family Day 2017 – Keep Them Exercising

Family Day 2017 – Making it About True Love – Exercise

For family day 2017, make it a true celebration of family love. Show each other how much you want to keep them alive and vibrant, for as long as possible. Make exercise a family affair.

I truly hope this true story, hurts you to action…….make this the most meaningful Family day…

Two and a half years ago my dad had fluke accident in our home, at the age of 87 he fell and broke his leg. Well, my dad is an avid tennis player, gym enthusiast, has a Nordic Track in his bedroom, and takes bike treks with his buddies (the ones 20 years his junior) for hundreds of kms. Even at his age, he had a fabulous recovery, blowing the minds of all health professionals who worked with him. Because he was (and still is at 89) an incredible athlete and remarkably fit, he had a full recovery, Thank God.

When this happened, as can be expected, my mother who is 8 years his junior, freaked out. She has always been, since I have know her, to be a chronic Jewish mother. Being the diligent, brilliant wife, she stood by his side, panicked with every movement, ache and pain. Let me mention a few minor details.
There is a live in housekeeper to help
There are 3 major exercise machines in that house: the Nordic Track, a treadmill and a recumbent bike. There are weights, resistance bands, lots of stairs connecting the 3 levels of the home ….zero excuse not to exercise
At this time, my mother also had a gym membership to a club 4 km from their home. She and my dad have a bicycle built for 2 that they regularly attracted smiles and coos from all, seeing a couple at their age, riding together. They actually looked like the hottest couple you could imagine.

I encouraged my father to continue to do exercises from his bed, knowing that irrelevant of his injury – his body was still depending on all that physical activity, and will not respond kindly if he just quit. Mom stood vigil by his bedside….worrying, nagging….as could be expected. I got after her to continue going to the gym – she loved her zumba class and had a few favourite machines. She refused to leave my father at all. He pleaded with her to go and look after herself (I think he also wanted the break!), being without any doubt the most stubborn person that ever walked this planet – she still refused. We all reminded her there are exercise machines in the house, multiple ways to exercise at home. BTW, my mother gets on a home machine, and suddenly 3 minutes converts to 30 minutes in her mind.

That was the beginning of the end, and nobody can convince me otherwise. Her physical activity came to a screeching halt, and since then she has had sporadic, at best, exercise and physical activity.

I begged, pleaded, showed her the studies on exercise against aging body and mind, chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimers, osteoporosis….we know the list goes on and on. She would try and convince me she exercised, I knew what she called a workout, I saw it many times. This is why I loved her taking the classes – it kept her going. I live 500 km from my folks, still,I skyped and spoke about it constantly with her. I got her to the gym when visiting me in Toronto, when I was in Montreal shamed her on to her home machines…. my dad was always after her – she always had a pathetic excuse….busy (really ?!?!?), tired (tired because she didn’t exercise) waiting for a phone call, the grocery delivery…..”I will exercise tomorrow!” – yes we all know what that means.

I have always said – there is one bad thing about exercise – that is, if you quit – your body has spiteful, retaliatory measures beyond the most devious, diabolical mind. Whether you have a broken leg, flu, busy schedule – your body does not care – it needs to circulate, refresh, respect and pamper that precious muscle mass……and yes of course modifications are necessary for every circumstance and condition. Exercise and physical activity are just as vital as breathing, eating, sleeping and brushing your teeth. Never quite exercising….if your child went missing, you would search with every breath inside. If you are short on time, have an injury,……You MAKE the time for physical activity. Not getting to the gym is NO excuse.

“The fitter you are, the harder you fall.”
– Harry Pino, a senior exercise physiologist at the Sports Performance Center at NYU Langone Medical Center

My mom had been a diabetic for about 30 years. She is a colon cancer survivor (23 years ago) – she is one of the great stories. Regular exercise, including both strength & cardio respiratory, are vital to diabetes and colon cancer prevention and recovery.

Family Day 2017 Celebrate with family exercise Best In Health Radio
Me and My Mom

Over the last 2 years, I have watched her fall apart, mentally and physically. It is now happening at a gasping speed. The neurodegeneration is devastating, clearly evident to all eyes. She cannot climb stairs, her biomechanics are so wonky that her walking is atrocious, destroying joints and causing intense pain. She is popping pain killers now, which my dad controls. She cannot get in and out of a bath, get off the toilet alone, her ability to remember, calculate, function is heart breaking. She was always the Scrabble queen…..that has gone with the muscle. Use it or lose it is a guaranteed fact about muscle mass. We have to use it much more (more does NOT have to mean intensity)  as we age……

This is not a necessity of “old age”.  A gentleman in my gym is in his late 90s and he runs up the stair master and makes us all feel like slack offs. Look at my dad. Sure, many of us know it gets more challenging as we age to keep fit, and the term fit is going to evolve and be defined differently as we age.

We don’t have to go to a gym to exercise. If you have time to breathe, you have time to exercise. If you have time to watch television or a social life, you certainly have time to exercise. Instead of that movie marathon on family day 2017, see how long you can all keep physically active together.
Someone keeps you on the phone? Get up and walk while they blab. You’re a busy mom? The very best gift you can give your child is you.

Ya know, my mom use to tell me all the time when my kids were young and I had to earn the living and raise my kids, I was terribly sleep deprived….she always told me:

“Shira you are no good to anyone dead.”

Author, My Mom

This is so unnecessary. Again, there is zero doubt in my mind this avalanche started when she quit exercising. I don’t believe in coincidence. My Rabbi once told me “coincidence was God’s way of remaining anonymous”. Maybe the exercise was staving off impending doom, we do not know. But I do know that this was the beginning of all of our heartache. I cry multiple times a day, as I work with people that were stricken by disease, and I watch the magic of exercise. I know I’m being a bit spoiled here – I am in my mid 50s and have my mom, unlike many of my girlfriends. This disintegration of her mind and body, was completely unnecessary – dare I say with my own mother – lifestyle induced. Then again, the CDC does tell us 80% of chronic illness could be prevented with appropriate lifestyle choices.

Exercise is truly our BFF in life. If you think “I tried exercise and it didn’t work” please think beyond the superficial. Think about muscles, bones, blood, heart, kidneys, liver, DNA, telomeres, cholesterol, immune function, brain, cognitive function, prevention of carcinogenesis, how many medications would be irrelevant with exercise……even if you don’t know what some of those are. Think about the very best possible Anti aging serum – we can all appreciate that.
I believe every miserable situation must have a silver lining that we have to seriously dig to learn. I am writing and publishing this with the hope it can be a silver lining to many people, and give them a massive kick in the … to exercise irrelevant of their excuses, or be successful in getting their loved ones to exercise.
Breathe life, exercise faithfully, be loyal to yourself and all those that you love. Exercise is beyond any shadow of a doubt, life’s breath.

The very best way to show love for another is by nurturing their health. Truly celebrate family day 2017 – celebrate your lives together as a family with exercise! I am spending family day 2017 with my mom  and dad and all grown up sons…there will be exercise (and Scrabble)!

I can’t make this stuff up – Check out the science….have a wonderful, meaningful family day!

https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/preventing-alzheimers-disease/search-alzheimers-prevention-strategies

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917219/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8282588

http://www.livestrong.com/article/555339-the-effects-of-stopping-exercise/

Shira Litwack Medical fitness, Corporate wellness, Radio talk show host
Shira Litwack Medical Fitness Professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Corporate wellness Provider Industry expert cancer exercise
Radio talk show host
Health & Fitness Educator

Shira Litwack – founder Best In Health Radio & Cell-Being – Best in Corporate Health, family day enthusiast

Corporate Health Programs – What an Incredible Way to Make the World A Healthier Happier Place…..so we make them affordable to EVERYONE……Shira@BestInHealthRadio.com

Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise| Health and Fitness Professionals’ Educator|Speaker

Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer

Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio

BSc Psychology & Chemistry| Medical Exercise Specialist|Holistic Nutrition| Addiction Recovery|Total of 18 exercise designations

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Fitness Clubs of Canada, Medical Fitness Network, Recovery on Water, Willow (Breast Cancer), Sirius XM Doctor Radio, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Cancer Exercise Training Institute,  Urban Poling for Breast Cancer Recovery,

 

 

Choosing a mattress for your health; health coaching best in health radio

Diet and Cancer- 4 Hour Webinar

Diet And Cancer – A Live 4 Hour Interactive Webinar:

Diet and cancer – prevention and management – a topic of great concern to all of us.

…diet is a major force in creating an inner biology that is hostile to cancer. In this 2 part webinar, we will learn, study the research, on the many ways we can help prevent cancer with diet including:

  • The Digestive Tract – The Root of All Illness
  • Food Chemistry: Repairing or Damaging our DNA
  • “Anti-Cancer” Foods
  • Nutritional Epidemiology
Diet and Cancer Live Interactive Webinar with Shira Litwack Best In Health Radio
Diet and Cancer – Live 4 hour Interactive webinar

You are what you Eat, Digest and Absorb and…..You are what you eat…and what it ate!!!!

WHO: Dietary factors are estimated to account for approximately 30% of cancers in industrialized countries, making diet second only to tobacco as a theoretically preventable cause of cancer

Whereas 90% of cancer is thought to be acquired genetic changes (ie. not hereditary), of that 90%, 50% is thought to be easily modifiable lifestyle habits. Smoking, diet & physical activity control the majority of that 50%.

The right diet can also help:

  • Stop smoking
  • Attain more success with physical activity and exercise
  • Minimize the damage of potentially mutagenic exposures
Diet and Cancer – Outline

Diet and cancer – Diet is thought to be next to Not Smoking the most important factor in cancer prevention.

Webinar Outline

Science

  • understanding studies
  • questioning “fact” – At what point do we accept research as “fact”
  • The Range of statements from different institutions

Integrative Medicine

  • the role of nutrition in integrative medicine
  • D.I.E.T. – The best 4 letter word of your life!

Digestion 

  • Feeding….Digesting…..Absorbing…….
  • Peristalsis……Elimination

Nutritional Epidemiology

  • Nutrition and Carcinogenesis
  • Studies on Diet and Cancer
  • Biomarker Analysis
  • Nutritional Therapy in Cancer Treatment Protocol….Indication of Prevention?

Orthomolecular Medicine

  • Supplementation as treatment
  • Caution
  • contraindications

The Macro, Micro, enzymes….Nutrition Creating Our Inner Biology

  • The many components of an “anti cancer” diet
  • Isolating and Analyzing the food, or the food with added pollutants….
  • Qualifying as “Anti Cancer” food
  • Fighting Oxidative Stress
  • Assessing individual needs
  • Attacking mutagenic agents with nutrition
  • Food Combining

Nutritional Roulette:

  • Creating an imbalance – nurturing mutations
  • Our food supply
  • Chemicals manipulating our DNA….Repairing or damaging
  • ingesting toxins, bacteria, viruses

Food, Feeding and Circadian Rhythms

  • High Efficiency Metabolism
  • The brain chemistry of cravings
  • “Recreational” Foods
  • Changing dietary habits – the science of success

Diet and Cancer – A Summary

Our Nutritional Action Plan – Inventory

Webinar Cost $50 USD.

*** Enrol in the Living a Life to Prevent Cancer Webinar   & Diet and Cancer – Get both webinars for $75.00 USD

Any questions on the webinar – please contact Shira Litwack: Shira@BestInHealthRadio.com

Dr. Radio: Exercise in Cancer Recovery/Prevention

Dr. Radio:  Shira Litwack Interview with  Dr. Jonathan Whiteson,  NYU on Sirius XM

Feb. 29, 2016: Dr. Radio interviews Shira Litwack on Dr. Jonathan Whiteson’s show, Rehabilitative medicine on cancer exercise – cancer prevention and cancer recovery, the latest research.

Dr. Radio – “Real doctors helping real people. Powered by NYU Langone Medical Center.”

Shira & Dr. Whiteson discuss:

  • Medical Exercise
  • Our world of Endocrine Disruptors contributing to Cancer
  • The Many Roles of Exercise
  • The validation and scientific acceptance of the right exercise in cancer recovery
  • Cancer Prevention with Exercise
  • Designing a complete exercise program as part of cancer recovery

It is always compulsory to get permission from the supervising health care professional – whether it be a family doctor, oncologist, naturopath, to participate in a cancer exercise program, as with any complimentary therapy.

Exercise for cancer recovery needs modifications from a regular exercise program. A program will vary based on many factors, including:

  • Type of Cancer
  • Type of Treatment
  • Stage of Recovery
  • Guidance of Health Care Professional

 

Dr. Radio - Shira Litwack, Industry Expert Cancer Exercise Interviewed
Living a Life to Prevent Cancer Live Interactive webinar

Shira Litwack, Industry Expert Cancer Exercise, Director of International Relations for the Cancer Exercise Training Institute will be leading a 4 hour interactive webinar

Living a Life to Prevent Cancer

We will be learning in great detail the latest research on cancer prevention and cancer recovery, citing over 50 studies.

Please join us. This program is open to the general public and qualifies as continuing education credits for the Cancer Exercise Specialist  certification of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute. Please contact Shira for more details and registration. Shira@BestInHealthRadio.com

Next Course Dates:

Part 1: May 24, 8-10 pm Eastern Time Zone and

Part 2: May 31, 8-10 pm Eastern Time Zone

 

Dr. Jonathan Whiteson interviews Shira Litwack on Sirius XM Radio Dr. Radio – Rehabilitative Medicine. First aired on Sirius channel 110 March 1, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRCA Gene and Breast Cancer

The BRCA Gene and Breast Cancer –

The BRCA Gene….Should you (man or woman) get tested for the BRCA gene mutation?

An Interview with Dr. Alex Ginty  – Physician, BRCA Gene Carrier, Breast Cancer Survivor

Dr. Ginty is Family Physician and Cancer Survivor. Regional Primary Care Lead for Cancer Care, Cancer Care Ontario, Mississauga/Halton.

BRCA Gene Dr. Alex Ginty on Best In Health Radio“Today, on World Cancer Day, we want to recognize the loved ones who support their spouses, family members, and friends who live with the effects of cancer treatment. The battles they face are not only for the patient; co-survivors experience life-changing emotional challenges through the cancer diagnosis, treatment and beyond.”

Listen to Dr. Ginty’s passionate and powerful message – it will inspire you to strength when faced with hardship.

“It hits you blindside when all the balls are in the air – mum, doctor, tennis team…… delete. Bilateral breast cancers, double mastectomies, reconstruction, 3 axillary node surgeries, BRCA 1 mutation discovery and hysterectomy. Then back to busy work. A journey of empowerment & strength – now to give back even more as a voice from both sides.

Either I had to learn to keep up or be left behind. In my busy job, it is hard to keep work under control so it is not high priority to advertise or increase public access to your strained and exhausting life. Keeping spare time private and quiet is a more common approach.

During my cancer journey however, I experienced the hardest time of my life as I lost control and uncertainty was a daily companion. The fragility of character took a lot of hard work to put back together with trust and support as my glue. My positive thinking cards kept me moving forwards and still echo in my head daily in a positive, forgiving and yet balancing way.

Well, it was fortunate that I came across some remarkably lucky opportunities as stars aligned. As my cards said, I had to step up to the plate if I wanted to change the emotional fallout of cancer treatment and how it could look different if I wanted it to. Passion + opportunity and here I am. I still have to push the comfort zone and push the barriers of media savviness or get left behind.

Stepping up to the plate of change as a Regional Primary Care Lead, at our regional cancer centre and across the province ,on expert panels and cancer pathway committees,  my energy for awareness and change push me on.

In this honest, heartfelt yet powerful interview Dr. Ginty shares with us her journey. Some of the major points covered are:

  • Dr. Ginty’s discovery through journey
  • Facingcancer.ca  and Look Good Feel Better
  • Co Survivors
  • The many tasks in a woman’s life…now breast cancer
  • BRCA gene – Genetic Counselling and getting tested – the facts and the psychological aspects
  • Examining Prophylactic mastectomies, benefits, risks, and the little known
  • Lifestyle habits for prevention
  • Relationship challenges
  • Finding the Go Forward

Please join us – Laugh and cry, but knowledge is power.

BRCA Gene Interview with Dr. Alex Ginty on Best In Health Radio.com

Lymphoma Leukemia and the Right Exercise

Lymphoma and Leukemia – The Right Exercise

Lymphoma-Exercise for Lymphoma Patients health coach best in Health RadioWith great thanks to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, we know there are 100, 000 people living with or in remission from a blood cancer in Canada. Leukemia is still the most common form of paediatric cancer in Canada. Survival rates are improving, however, we still have much to do in the fight against blood cancers.

What is unfortunately little known is a potential partner in recovery, far too often overlooked – Exercise. Exercise is far too minimized and under utilized as a vital partner in integrative oncology, and Lymphoma and other blood cancers are no exception.

Please note when I say exercise — I mean the right exercise –  exercise should not imply training for Iron Man or Triathlons, it should be viewed and revered for its therapeutic, restorative & rehabilitative wonders, right down to the cellular level.

First a bit about exercise and cancer recovery in general…not particular to blood cancers.

At the cellular level:

A lifestyle to prevent cancer is a lifestyle that protects us from all of our chronic illnesses, mental & physical, and it all starts with creating a hostile environment within destroying cells as they become cancerous. We need to create our “biochemical terrain” that is able to annihilate the inevitability of cells becoming cancerous because of a biochemical terrain that enables cancer to flourish.

3 of the most volatile “terrain setters”

Glycemia

Oxidation

Inflammation

Oxidation: As we know from exercise science, our fitness, health is completely dependent on how efficiently we use oxygen. Yes we need oxygen to live however our health, protection from the degradation of aging, cancer prevention is all about keeping a balance within between oxidative stress (producing free radicals)  and antioxidants, our best cancer prevention. Cells deprived of too much oxygen (estimated at 35%) can also morph into cancer cells – balance.

Inflammation: Another key to cancer prevention (and heart disease, aging, immunity, depression……) is inflammation, we need  tight control over inflammation. Leading causes: smoking, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, activation of stress hormones, alcohol, sugar, Omega 6 oils such as vegetable oils, trans fats…..Inflammation is a critical part of our body’s innate immunity – its attempt to heal itself, however, when it becomes a chronic condition, this “inflammatory state” the immune system attacks healthy tissue, mistaking them for harmful pathogens.

Glycemia: Simply put…cancer cells have a voracious appetite for sugar. As seen in our obesity & diabetes epidemics…..so do our populations, hence we are throwing gasoline on fires, fuelling cancer. Controlling blood glucose levels is an absolute must in controlling cancer

Even if a cancer is removed, that is only the start on the road to remission and the  celebration of “cancer free”. The biochemistry has to be to be able to attack and destroy any hidden cancer cells from multiplying, violating the patient once again, usually in a more toxic, vengeful form.

The right exercise, in the right amount, can help regulate all of these biochemical markers.

Glycemia: Let us all count the ways……but really our muscle mass is the real hero here. ..taking sugar out of the blood stream into the muscle…..just as strength training is a diabetics best friend. Sugar feeds cancer.  Exercise reduces Insulin resistance, lowering levels of blood insulin, a growth factor, discussed further below.

Inflammation: Again our muscle mass is key here to control the inflammatory chemicals secreted by cancer cells. A sedentary lifestyle allows protein loss from body tissues. Inflammatory responses are like wildfire without exercising the muscles, leading to muscle wasting and destruction of the immune system.  Cachexia is an unfortunate side effect of many cancer  treatments, exercise is the best retaliatory defense.

Oxidative stress: Now here we do have to be very careful of balance, slow and steady wins this race. The right type and dosage of exercise produces enzymes that reduces free radicals. However, too much exercise can produce free radicals.

And there is the obvious aspects of exercise:

psychologically uplifting: balancing hormones & production of serotonin

Surgery: Regaining functional capacity and quality of life

Cardiac and Immune function: optimizing these through treatment and beyond…the roleLymphoma survivors exercise for prevention of cardio vascular disease of Immune performance is completely overlooked in exercise

weight management……our list here is endless

Immune support is tricky with blood cancers. According to Dr. Keith Block, of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer treatment, immune stimulating supplement are a NO, as I have heard from every oncologist, but immune support to fight immune suppression, fatigue …is necessary.

This again is why the RIGHT exercise is necessary, because the wrong exercise can lead to excess free radicals, inflammation & depressed immune function.

Slow and steady is the very best advice here. The benefits of exercise are still necessary. Controlled physical activity can help people minimize the worse immune offenders being: smoke,alcohol, emotional stress, sugar consumption. Physical activity helps with NK (natural Killer) cell performance & T cell function.

With Leukemia, Lymphoma, and blood cancers, we  faithfully adhere to certain  precautions:

  • home workouts are better – the germs of a pool or fitness facility are an added risk
  • No unhealthy weight loss
  • Heeding to blood counts – your doctor will advise you on the status of blood counts, red blood cells, minerals…….
  • Supervised, skilled resistance great, Heavy weights – NO – respecting risk of osteoporosis
  • Appreciate the circulatory & relaxation & restorative side of exercises, flexibility, Range of motion,  the best support.

Unfortunately I have found that many people with blood cancers have a certain need to punish & repent  – why did I not eat right and exercise before, why did I smoke……..however, during treatment is NOT the time to over compensate. I personally find the toughest part of my job working with people with blood cancers is trying to keep them at the right pace, when often they want to go into overdrive and push much too hard.

According to Dr. Kerry Courneya, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer, University of Alberta, in a study of multiple myeloma, the most challenging physical activity wise of all the blood cancers, survivors who report exercise during and after treatment also report higher quality of life.

And according to the American Cancer Society…”Research strongly suggests that exercise is not only safe during cancer treatment, but it can also improve physical functioning and many aspects of quality of life. Moderate exercise has been shown to improve fatigue, anxiety, and self-esteem. It also helps heart and blood vessel fitness, muscle strength, and body composition”

Knowing how to work and analyze the needs of each individual client is of the utmost importance from the health/fitness professional. Blood cancers demand a very delicate balance for the necessity of physical activity throughout its powers of immune support, circulatory support, breathing & relaxation, supporting good sleep….but not overdoing it causing any immune stress, or stress on the blood cells.

And the most overlooked aspect of exercise….smile time. Again we are clouded by visions of exercise being about pain, misery, another cumbersome, dreaded thing in our life. A very cruel, inaccurate prejudice. The right exercise professional will design physical activity around other lifestyle demands, and show the person that exercise time is smile time, and puts us in our happy place physiologically, unlike anything else. Truthfully, my favourite thing for clients to say to me is “I hate exercise”.  That is an irresistible beckoning to show someone a new self love, open up an inner Genie in a bottle of pleasure, yes for people dealing with cancer as well. The trained exercise professional knows how to make physical activity a form of laughter therapy. As the person starts to reap the physiological & psychological rewards, the feeling of taking control, not being helpless in their recovery, is empowering and encouraging. This sense of optimism encourages the person to adopt other healthy lifestyle habits. I call is neurotransmitter nirvana.

More studies are currently underway on Lymphoma and exercise. It is well known that treatment for childhood lymphoma is associated with a very high rate of cardio vascular disease.  A Sloan Kettering 2014 study  that vigorous exercise in Hodgkins Lymphoma survivors can reduce their risk of CV events by 51%.

Again, please note there is a vast difference of exercise during treatment for Lymphoma vs. as a survivor!

And the truth is we often don’t know why exercise is so magical – we just know it is and it works.