Happy new year everyone!
- YouCan Make a New Start
Wanting to start 2018 off with a bang? Everyone makes New Years Resolutions and it to be honest most of mine go out the window before Januarys end. But I’ve decided if I struggle one day I can start again tomorrow – so that makes my resolution not to give up straight away! And, as I found out last year when I started working out after treatment, resolutions can be made any time of the year, not just the start of the year.
Here’s a few tips that could help you out:
2. YouCan Exercise
Exercise is key in minimising the chances of re-occurrence of any cancer. It also helps reduce the risk of heart disease, mental health issues, obesity, just to name a few. My oncologist said that if exercise was the pill then she would prescribe it all the time it does so many things. In a nutshell, exercise is amazing. The thing is, pills are easy to take, exercise involves a bit more effort.
Getting back into exercise after treatment can be a struggle so keep it simple – a 15 min walk once a day can be a good starting off point. Then you can extend it, make your walk slightly longer or add some hills in to get your heart rate up. After my treatment I did just this and after about a month I was able to do a 45 min walk without my legs aching like bill-ee-oh.
I find that it helps to do something you enjoy as it gives you more motivation to keep going with it. I love dancing so I’ve decided to do Youtube Zumba videos at home and go to a Clubbersize class – you exercise to dance music with glow sticks! Gimmicky maybe, but it’s fun and gets my heart pumping.
YouCan offers a 12 week exercise programme with a Personal Trainer qualified to help people recovering from treatment. This can be done at your own pace too; I did the training once a week but you can do it as much or as little as you like. My PT, Marin, focused on exercises that built up my strength but also my stamina. Now I feel much stronger than I ever did before cancer.
If you would like more information about the 12 week programme or any other exercise classes we offer please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01732 844874.
YouCan are also hosting a few events this year that you might like to take part in:
- YouCan Bike Ride – 13th May 2018
- YouCan Run
- YouCan Golf Day
More information about these events will be posted in due course.
3. YouCan Eat Well
I don’t know about you, but I find eating the ‘right’ things all very stressful and confusing! There is so much conflicting advice out there it is difficult to know what to do for the best. I personally would choose something that fits in with your lifestyle. I know that for me, anything to complicated just puts me right off!
I’ve been to a few talks in nutrition since my diagnosis. There is plenty of information on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-eatwell-guide website, including the handy infographic here.
There are also lots of new cook books out this time of year that could give you some food inspiration which are all healthy. You can decide if you want to follow the meal plan recommended or not, I personally just pick and choose what I want to eat rather than follow a specific plan but it depends what works best for you. Body coach Joe Wicks now has three recipe books which includes exercise advice in them too but many of his recipes can be found online too: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/writer/joe-wicks
He also has his own YouTube channel with lots of quick, easy HIIT workouts to try in the comfort of your own home:
When I was diagnosed I wanted more information about what I was eating if there was anyway to prevent re-occurrence with food. I invested in two cook books which I used during treatment – though I’ve used them a lot more since now everything tastes a lot better! They are:
- Royal Marsden Cancer Cook Book – I used this during chemo, particularly the smoothies when I couldn’t stomach food.
- The Living Well with Cancer Cook Book – This book was particularly helpful because it explained which foods are good and why during treatment as well as a few recipes.
4. YouCan Meditate
Meditation is very popular at the moment but has actually been practised for thousands of years. There are many benefits to your emotional well-being when you practise meditation:
- Lessens worry, anxiety and impulsivity
- Reduces stress, fear, loneliness and depression
- Enhances self-esteem and self-acceptance
- Improves resilience against pain and adversity
- Increases optimism, relaxation and awareness
- Helps promote a healthier lifestyle eg. Helps prevent emotional eating and smoking
- Helps develop positive social connections
- Improves your mood and emotional intelligence
- Improves concentration
- Studies have also shown that it can boost your immunity and lower your bloody pressure.
So, is meditation hard? No! There are so many apps out there such as Headspace and Calm which literally talk you through it. I personally used Headspace throughout my treatment and found it particularly useful. Do you have to spend a lot of time doing it? No! Just 10 minutes each day can help bring on the above benefits. There are lots of free meditations on youtube that you can access if the apps aren’t for you.
5. YouCan use the YouCan Wellbeing Zone
YouCan had its very own Wellbeing Resource available online and on an app. This dashboard has plenty of advice, articles and support available for free. Full details are in the flyer below. It also says how you can access it at the bottom.