It’s October and many of us are dreaming of cider and doughnuts, admiring Michigan’s beautiful leaves changing colors, or wondering what winter will hold for us this year. But we are once again reminded that October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and for those affected either personally or touched by someone who has, it’s not a reminder they will ever need.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women and 1 in 1000 men in the United States. So while we are reminded this month of the importance of self-examinations and mammograms, just like our New Years’ resolutions, being mindful of our breast health shouldn’t fade after a month.
Our breast health as well as our overall health can be dramatically improved with plenty of exercise and proper nutrition. Following a healthy lifestyle includes keeping your weight in normal range, being physically active (at least 30 minutes or more a day of moderate-intensity exercise), minimizing alcohol intake, and don’t smoke. Overweight, inactivity and alcohol all increase risk for breast cancer, and smoking increases risk in some women.
So we have compiled a few facts and tips, some helpful resources and information regarding free classes we’ll be holding this month at My Stronger Self Fitness Studio in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The American Cancer Society’s dietary guidelines for cancer prevention recommend that people:
- Choose foods and amounts that promote a healthy weight.
- Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
- Limit consumption of processed and red meat.
- Women should limit alcohol consumption to 1 drink per day (women at high risk for breast cancer should consider not drinking alcohol at all).
Nearly 30 studies have shown that women who exercise at moderate to vigorous levels for three or more hours per week reduce their risk of getting breast cancer by 30 percent to 40 percent.
Scientists believe that hormones are the link between exercise and breast-cancer protection. Exercise reduces levels of estrogen, testosterone, insulin, and growth factors, all of which may either cause breast cancer or prompt it to grow faster and larger. Women with high levels of these hormones in their blood have a high risk of developing breast cancer.
Many of the benefits of exercise in breast-cancer prevention may also apply for women who have had breast cancer. Overweight and obese breast-cancer patients have poorer survival than lighter-weight women. Exercise can therefore be an important part of the breast-cancer recovery process. It will also help provide you with not only better health but also a physical and emotional boost.
- Liv.com is an excellent online resource for breast cancer prevention and support for breast cancer “thrivers”!
- Free or low-cost mammograms
- Local Support Groups
Every Spring we hold our Fit-4-Life 60 Day Challenge focusing on team based weight loss. We had so much fun with it this year and many of the teams are still going strong. We are very fortunate our members are so supportive of one another.
We also offer free Fitness Consultations if you’d like to discuss ways to incorporate better nutrition and fitness into your life.
Here is a list free classes, open to both men and women, we’re offering this month to help promote exercise and breast health:
(PLEASE NOTE: Pre-registration is required for all classes. Email FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com to sign up.)
Saturday, October 6th at 945am – Hatha Yoga
Friday, October 19th at 930am – Power Yoga
Wednesday, October 24th at 1030am – Hatha Yoga
Sunday, October 28th at 930am – Zumba Dance Party
FREE Boot Camps Saturday 830am 10/13, 10/20, 10/27 (St. Mary Magdalen Church in Brighton)
“When Life Kicks You, Let It Kick You Forward” ~ Kay Yow