Tag Archives: immune system

Shira Litwack Medical fitness, Corporate wellness, Radio talk show host

Breast Cancer Recovery with Pole Walking

Breast Cancer Recovery with More Cancer Exercise

Breast cancer recovery demands a solid, safe cancer exercise program. Yes, exercise and physical activity are vital to any healthy lifestyle, disease prevention or recovery program. Please may I introduce you to another great exercise partner – pole walking.

I have had the pleasure of a new walking buddy – a set of 4life poles from Urban Poling. I would like to share with you some of the wonderful health benefits, especially as part of a  breast cancer recovery program. Even better…Urban Poling donates 2% of all proceeds to breast cancer research…..And….Urban Poling donated poles and training to cancer wellness centres in Ontario, BC, AB and Dalhousie university in NS.

Lymphedema is a possibility in breast cancer recovery as with any cancer treatment involving lymph node removal or radiation. Survivors should always consult their health care professional for:

a) Permission to resume exercise, and be aware of any contraindications

b) Recommendations for compression garments and proper fitting

c) Cancer exercise is different. Contraindications must be avoided. Maximize the benefits. Many stereotypes over exercise can be dangerous. Work with someone who is specialized in cancer exercise.

Yes, caution and vigilance are a necessity, but a thorough, carefully planned fitness program is a crucial part of disease recovery, and a healthy lifestyle for all.

Breast Cancer Recovery with Best in Health Radio
Live Laugh Love ……Liberate with Best In Health Radio Health Processes

The obvious that stands out about pole walking for breast cancer recovery is helping people (men and women) with range of motion challenges often faced after treatment. However, there are many other aspects of pole fitness I would like to point out. Far too often in recovery from breast cancer, or any surgery, the immediate surgical area is focused on, the truth is the entire body, is the immediate surgical area.

Think of our body as an ecosystem. Every part of the ecosystem has a crucial function, and when one part is struggling, the entire ecosystem is compromised. When trained properly in form and cardio respiratory management, pole fitness can be a valuable partner in balancing and optimizing the ecosystem by:

  • a wide range of cardio respiratory training options
  • Range of motion and flexibility training
  • metabolic support
  • Development of the Power pump muscles
  • Body fat management and lean muscle mass development
  • affordable and attainable
  • Balance, core strength & postural training
  • hormonal ….mood balance
  • minimizing side effects of treatment – during treatment and beyond
  • Social aspects
  • Fun = adherence

All of these are performance partners in an  effective exercise program, but are also beneficial to lymphedema prevention. Let’s remember lymphedema can happen any time after treatment…even 20 years later.  Unfortunately as a person ages, fitness levels are much harder to maintain. Changes in body fat percentages, lean to fat ratios, can be dangerously conducive to lymphedema.

Cardio respiratory training is vital – and it is critical to include a broad range of training – target heart rate zones are far too often over looked. Health care professionals might recommend a particular target heart rate zone to be respected faithfully. Even for those ready to train in higher zones, it is still important to vary training from easier demands of 40% capacity up to the higher ranges of 75-80% capacity. Constantly training in the more vigorous range can be a source of physiological stress and oxidative stress. Far too overlooked in conventional training – we should all make disease prevention a focus of our training. Many traditional training beliefs are not wise for disease prevention.

Something that women are often far more guilty of is appreciating our muscle mass. Simply put, out muscle mass is our BFF(best friend forever)  in life. Besides the obvious functions, little known is our immune system is helpless without strong muscles. Muscles are the pump of the immune system. Our power pump muscles as I refer to above are our gluteal and leg muscles. Strengthening the power pump muscles is vital for heart health, venous return (VR) to the heart. VR is the flow of blood back to the heart. Muscles are also vital for metabolic control, adiposity management, hormonal and mood control.

The 4Life poles are fully adjustable – allowing a proper fit. It is a very difficult exercise for me to be at the gym, watching MOST people destroying their posture on the machinery. Most people have compromised posture due to their day to day activities – screen time, driving, poor muscle balance…rounded shoulder syndrome, spinal subluxation (misaligned back), exaggerated pelvic tilt.  Good posture affects every aspect of bodily function, comfort, and healthy aging.

A feature of the 4Life poles I especially appreciated was the lack of vibration. Many poles you feel a rippling through the body – not cool. Those vibrations add up to stress on the joints over the years. At every age, we must prioritize keeping our body “young” flowing smoothly.

The handles do not have straps – personally I find straps a nuisance as well as a potential danger. There is no hand cramping or sweaty palms due to the shape.

Every major city has pole walking clubs – and if you do live in a town without, or there are no groups near you – start one. We are social creatures. An analysis by Stats Canada provided convincing data highlight “the importance of frequent social participation to maintaining quality of life.”

“The greater the number of frequent social activities, the higher the odds of positive self-perceived health, and the lower the odds of loneliness and life dissatisfaction,”

Physical activity within a group – being part of a pack – greatly increases chances of adherence.

Breast Cancer Recovery with Cancer Exercise Specialist Shira Litwack
Shira Interviewed on Sirius XM “Doctor Radio” for Breast Cancer Awareness month

And speaking of adherence…….the fun factor with the 4Life poles…..I have never met anyone looking for another torturous, miserable thing to do in their life. Pole walking is fun and exhilarating.  It becomes a focal point of our schedule. And yes, living in Canada – the weather is a brutal reality. I actually used the poles with indoor training with clients. ………We called it – Dancing with the Poles!

I leave the 4Life poles in my front entrance – they are always clean and sparkling as they are durable and very washable looking brand new. They are a source of intrigue (unfortunately I find most people are unaware of pole walking) and motivation for the many people of all ages that come through my home.

Exercise should not be an intrusion in our lives, and should be something we look forward to. After using the 4Life poles  for a few months – myself and within my medical fitness practice – whether it be outside winter and spring or inside Dancing with the Poles” …..they provide hours of invigorating and fun, complete exercise. Get trained with them properly, and reap the benefits for years!

What Is Cancer? Our Cellular HTML

What is Cancer? Think of it as a virus to our cellular HTML

What is  Cancer – No – Life does not cause cancer as some think.  This thought often engrains a sense of helplessness within. The truth is, if we understand what cancer is, it helps us better understand prevention – give ourselves control and motivation…

A life to prevent cancer is a life to prevent all of our chronic illnesses, and infuses us with energy & power.   Think of cancer as a virus that has messed with the HTML of or cell’s genetic code.

Take a look at a beautiful website – say this one…..behind every beautiful site is HTML HyperText Markup Language, the “mother tongue” of our web browsers. Behind our being, is genetic code that dictates every cell of who we are. If we have one wrong little character in the HTML of our website it can completely destroy the function of that website. Well, the same is true for our genetic code.

What Is Cancer Health Coaching Best In Health RadioNow, what is cancer? Cancer is a genetic mutation, something has reprogrammed the HTML of that cell. That cell is now reproducing incorrectly.  If our ecosystem is unable to shut that cell down, there is trouble. If our ecosystem is not optimized, the genetic saboteur is allowed to reproduce, and that deadly coding is reproduced. Here lies the problem why people think “life causes cancer”….

In our “advanced” world….we have created thousands of potential mutagens to destroy cell stability

Our bodies are a wonderland. Wonderland has an inner ecosystem that like any ecosystem needs to be kept in balance.  Chinese medicine describes our flow of Qi. Without the flow of Qi, our life’s force, the ecosystem is jolted out of balance.

We live in a world that is constantly bombarding our ecosystem.  Many times we are responsible for that attack: smoking, poor food choices, lack of physical activity…. And many times we do not know we are exposed to attacks on that biochemical terrain. Enter illness and disease.

Cancer is thought to be only 5-10% genetic. The rest is lifestyle, however, as mentioned above, our lifestyles consist of unknown as well as known carcinogens…..exposures that cause a cell to mutate.

Now……how magical are the powers of the right exercise? Exercise and nutrition are our body guards. When carcinogens attack, by empowering our body with the strongest possible biochemical terrain, one that is totally inhospitable to mutagens, we are able to fight the attacker and win.

Attackers (aka carcinogens and pathogens):

Certain chemicals (in our food, in our air, in our meds, in our soils……..)

Viruses and bacteria

Geophysical exposures, radiation

Hormonal imbalances…..including our big wide world of phytoestrogens endocrine disrupters

Some nasty lifestyle choices: smoking, sitting, poor food choices, stress, alcohol….

Our body depends on us to supply it with sustenance to empower the ecosystem

Nutrition…the right exercise optimizes our digestive system for absorption of the good and destruction of the bad

Exercise

Physical activity

Sleep

Minimize exposure to carcinogens, mutagens, pathogens

When the body is unable to fight intruders, that is when the biochemical terrain allows mutated cells, aka cancer cells, to reproduce…and reproduce……until “we have cancer”. It is believed that everyone of us have cancerous cells lurking within, our goal is that we have the defences to shut down those cells, or force what is called aptosis – cell suicide.

Front and center to the body’s defences are our immune and circulatory systems.

What is Cancer: Medical Exercise Health Coaching Best In Health RadioOur immune system is a pumpless system.  In other words, it can produce all of the wonderful superheroes in the world (lymphocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, immunoglobins….) but if there is no pumping action from our muscles, or no muscles, the immune system can’t do its job.

Exercise is imperative for optimizing our body’s performance. Every study shows us that exercise and physical activity are an absolute necessity for every organ system of the body, and a necessity, dare I say the “managing partner” to integrative oncology.

Exercise is vital to the destruction of cancer at every level:

Prevention: enabling the body to kill those intrusions, to build a strong inner ecosystem

Management: make it through treatment, minimizing risks of side effects of treatment, fighting fatigue, and many studies tell us help better respond to treatment, building back musculoskeletal challenges created by the cancer and the treatment.

Prevention of recurrence. Rebuilding and equipping the immune system

A topic for another article is exercise at the cellular level, which is vital for prevention, recovery, and prevention of recurrence….and anti aging and anti all of our chronic illnesses….the real science geek, yes, however, this really helps us understand cancer prevention & management.

Let’s summarize…..

What is cancer? Cancer occurs because their has been a genetic mutation, a change to the genetic code. The body has been attacked..the body needs to fight the attacker.

  • The right exercise enables the body to fight that invasion, through it’s many magical ways, some known, and we still have many ways yet to discover.
  • Food Choices are critical in either feeding or destroying cancer cells
  • Being aware of environmental exposures, choices
  • Eliminating oxidative stressors
  • Lifestyle choices

yes….much is within our control

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

Shira@BestInCorporateHealth.com

We look forward to customizing your employee wellness programs!

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist, Corporate health designer and coach

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health and Best In Health Radio

Employee Wellness Toronto, Ontario…offered internationally

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

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, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),

Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer

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

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