exercise: another tool for coping with cancer

Usually when Marvin leaves for work in the morning and before I jump on my computer to work, I go for a walk. That’s when I do what I would call my fitness walk. I try to get my heart rate into my training zone and then sustain that for a given length of time. Today I  managed to stay in my training zone for fifteen minutes.

exerciseExercising has always been part of my life, and for most of my life I have taught very active and strenuous fitness classes that incorporated dance. Now, I am using the skills from dance and my own advice as a teacher to help myself work at the beginner level I encouraged newcomers to adopt in order to avoid injury. Too often eager class participants end up dropping out of an activity because they try to train at a level higher than their current level of conditioning dictates and end up with shin splints or other overuse injuries. Being armed with knowledge, however, doesn’t mean that one uses it; I have caught myself trying to rush past my current level of fitness, thinking I can work out like I used to. Reality usually and quickly adjusts my lapse in perception.

So my current mandate is to gain a mild to moderate level of aerobic fitness and overall strength. As I wrote yesterday, an important goal, and the principal challenge for me, is living in the present and adjusting my expectations accordingly.

Finally, after walking this morning, I felt a tiny surge of that euphoria that I remember so well. Aside from the physical benefits, I have long recognized that exercising has a beneficial effect on one’s mood. What better time than when coping with cancer to reap that benefit.

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© 2004-2009 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

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