When it comes to breast cancer, it has been proven that exercise can cut the odds of a remission, and help in a speedier recovery.
Lindsey Corrado-Sampson, Pilates instructor at the Bodytree Studio, has compiled five Pilates movements – breathing, shoulder mobility, spinal rotation, swimming prep and pelvic tucks – that are tested and proven suggestions for integrating fitness back into a breast cancer recovery patient’s treatment plan.
“Think of completing the exercises in two phases, first on their own the progressing with light resistance in the form of weights or a flex band,” says Corrado-Sampson. “Keep repetitions low, only go with a range of motion that feels comfortable, stop if there’s ever any pain and always consult a doctor before starting.”
For an in-depth explanation of the five movements, visit the "news & blog" section of www.bodytreestudio.com.
Hema D’Souza, a personal trainer and yoga instructor in Dubai, works with clients one-on-one and has been hired by numerous breast cancer survivors to help in their recovery.
“Yoga can help women who have cancer find solace and learn to deeply care for themselves,” says the Indian national, who has called the UAE home for nine years. “Yoga offers effective relief from the physical and mental effects of the disease and the side effects of treatment, like fatigue, pain, swelling, stiffness, stress and even depression.
When first starting with a patient, D’Souza aims to free up the shoulder area and bring movement to the shoulder blade, collarbone and humerus. “We have to move the shoulder girdle through its full range of movement,” she explains.
Elevation, so shrug the shoulders upward, toward the ears.
Depression, lower the shoulders downward, away from the ears.
Protraction, reach forward as though you’re about to grab something. Retraction, squeeze the shoulder blades together behind you.
D’Souza says that building strength gently is the main focus, and that poses that are weight-bearing on the upper body are avoided until healing occurs and strength returns.