• biking through chemo

    Biking Through Chemo

    At 13thirty Cancer Connect, we dedicate peer programs to the following categories: arts, wellness, and social. Because of the current social distancing guidelines, it may seem hard to access activities in any of these areas. This may even feel familiar to social distancing experienced during cancer treatment. We know how important it is to feel connected to one another and to maintain healthy routines. While we can’t host in-person workout programs right now, we can’t stress enough how important it is to keep taking care of yourself whether you’re in treatment, in maintenance, or into survivorship.

    Inpatient Exercise

    Matthew Simon was about to start his sophomore year on his high school crew team when he was diagnosed with┬áleukemia. His inpatient treatment lasted three weeks, but felt far longer because of the lack of social contact and physical activity that he was so accustomed to before treatment. Eventually, Matthew began using an exercise bike right in his hospital room to help his emotional and physical needs. He said getting regular exercise improved his mood and made him feel like he was contributing to his treatment with this healthy habit.┬áChemo treatment can make you feel fatigued and even depressed. Regular exercise can help combat these feeling while improving muscle retention and self esteem. Read more about Matthew’s story and other AYAs living with cancer who were able to use exercise bikes during treatment on the Washington Post.

    Modify & Move

    Before setting up a workout routine, learn your limitations. Make modifications where you need it in order to have the most effective workout. Check with your health care provider, physical therapist, or personal trainer about what workouts are suitable for you and where you are in your cancer journey.┬áRemember, “any movement is better than no movement.”

    Stay Motivated

    Ways to stick to a workout routine:

    1. Invite a Friend – Plan to workout with someone else you live with or video chat a friend
    2. Schedule Time – Set up calendar notifications to remind you to exercise
    3. Partial Workouts – Even if you can’t complete a full workout, try and complete a portion
    4. Reward System – Work out after watching a show and once you complete it, you can watch the next episode
    5. Good Listening – There’s plenty of playlists, podcasts, and audio books available for free

    What’s your at-home workout routine like? Can you use any of these tips to improve it? If you have a tip we didn’t list here, tell us in the comments below!

    Look out for updates on virtual programs!