Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Week In Fitness 2/12/12 - 2/18/12

Last week I experimented with my diet and was able to improve my performance slightly.  I've been eating mostly fat and protein during the day and saving my carbs for after workouts.

This was the last week of the 2nd phase of my P90X/Insanity program and now it's on to another recovery week.  I'm already trying to decide what to do when I finish with this program.  I will probably do 10 Minute Trainer for a couple of weeks to let my body rest and recover before starting Les Mills Pump.

I'm going to buy myself a set of PowerBlocks for my birthday.  My current weights are a miss matched set of plates and I'm really getting tired of spending excess time doing mental math and swapping plates between routines in P90X.  Right now it takes me about 1.5 hours to complete a 60 min video.  Also, my old weights aren't heavy enough now and I would rather buy a good set than spend more money buying plates for the old ones.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Week In Fitness 2/5/12 - 2/11/12

I started this week a couple of days behind in my workout schedule due to last weeks unplanned break.  Skipping my rest day on Sunday put me only one day behind.  I continued to do the workouts on schedule, until Friday night.  When I got home from work on Friday I was exhausted and just didn't have the energy to do a workout.  Saturday morning I woke up feeling like I had a cold, congested, sore throat and a little nausea.  The funny thing is, by the time I got to work I felt fine.  After work I decided to skip the Yoga and go on to Legs & Back so I would stay only one day behind.

Next week I will be playing with my diet a little and seeing how that affects my workouts.  You can read more about that on my other blog.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Week In Fitness 1/29/12 - 2/4/12

This week I started the second phase of my P90X/Insanity program.  I pushed really hard doing Back & Biceps and my arms felt like jello when I was done.  After that workout I used the Results & Recovery Formula and I wasn't sore the next day.  Considering how hard I pushed and that it was a new routine, I expected to be more sore than I was.  I can't say for sure that it was the recovery drink that kept me from getting sore, but I think it helped.  My existing back injury was hurting this week so I took the last couple of days off to rest.  I don't plan on skipping workouts, I'll just be a couple of days off in my schedule.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mental Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients

A guest Article by Liz Davies

Many people who have cancer may be inclined to rest and avoid strenuous activity, but recent studies suggest that cancer patients should increase, not reduce, their levels of physical activity. Researchers have examined the relationship between rehabilitation, quality of life, and exercise in cancer patients and reported positive findings.

People suffering from cancer have a difficult time getting their energy back and strengthening their self-confidence. Exercise has both mental and physical benefits. Regular physical activity lowers the risk of cancer, diabetes and stroke by up to 50 percent. Studies indicate that exercise can also boost self-esteem, sleep quality, mood, and energy, and reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, stress, and dementia.

The Psychological and Emotional Benefits of Exercise

Physical activity has many of the same benefits for cancer patients as it does for healthy people. Some of these benefits include leaner body mass, greater muscular strength, increased energy, and less weight gain. Exercise reduces fatigue and boosts self-confidence. During cancer treatment, it helps prevent the decline of physical function without increasing fatigue. After treatment, exercise helps the body recover faster.

Exercise Promotes Well-Being

Exercise helps ease depression and anxiety by releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins. These chemicals released by the brain act as natural painkillers and help reduce pain. Physical activity increases body temperature, which may have calming effects. The physiological benefits of exercise are also caused by increased blood flow to the brain. Cancer patients who exercise regularly are able to find meaning and importance in their lives.

Types of Exercise That Can Help Cancer Patients

Every person's situation is different. Cancer patients should do flexibility exercises, aerobic exercises, and resistance training. Types of cancers like lung cancer and mesothelioma causes patients to look towards these types of exercises to work on their lung capacity. The most popular types of aerobic exercises include swimming, walking, and jogging. Flexibility exercises help maintain mobility. Many people diagnosed with cancer lose muscle and gain fat during treatment. Some cancers can lead to body wasting and increase the risk of bone fractures. Resistance training helps patients maintain a healthy weight and reduce muscle breakdown. Yoga and meditation can help them achieve optimal levels of mental health.

Just like healthy people, cancer patients should do at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five times a week. This amount of exercise has a potential role in reducing cancer recurrence and increasing survival. Animal studies have shown that physical activity increases the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. It also helps brain cells survive longer and protects against Alzheimer's disease.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.