Full Adult AML Chapter Event: Finding Mental Strength Through Physical Activity
Posted: Jul 18, 2022
Watch the Full Event Here:
Recorded on June 23rd, 2022
During this Adult AML Chapter Event, Linnley Sweeney, HealthTree's Fitness Director and Cancer Exercise Specialist, spoke with us all about physical activity for AML. Movement is helpful beyond keeping us strong physically. It can help you manage the stressful nature of an aggressive cancer, significantly benefiting your mental and emotional wellbeing. Linnley expalined the benefits of physical activity and how you can incorporate movement into your daily routine as an AML patient.
Here are some of the highlights:
Major effects of chronic stress: decreased brain function, reduced ability to remember and retain information, increased inflammation, altered eating patterns (weight gain or weight loss), poorer sleep patterns
High-level tips to manage stress: exercise, relaxation strategies, deep breathing, nourish your body, slow down, take breaks, make time for your hobbies, talk about your problems
Exercise is the number one recommended way to manage stress. Things to keep in mind when performing and starting an exercise routine: always consult with your AML specialist before starting or changing your exercise program. Find out what you should avoid so you can determine what you can do. Work through some of your fatigue but don't overdo it. Don't forget to work on your flexibility and mobility. Start low and go slow!
Guidelines for starting cardio: aim for at least two times per week. Low impact options include walking and swimming. Work up to 30 min of cardio but do what you CAN do. If that's 5 minutes, that is a success. Work up slowly as you are able over time. Try different cardio options to mix your exercise routine up.
Guidelines for starting strength training: Aim 1-3 times per week depending on your limitations. Make sure you have a rest day in between your exercise days. Do not continue any exercise that causes pain or discomfort. Learn the difference between sharp pain and muscle fatigue. Strength training does not have to involve weights. Use your body weight and resistance bands.
We all start from somewhere. What matters is that you keep going!
Check out minutes 18-30 in the video as Linnley takes us through a variety of seated exercises.
Want to Learn About More Important Adult AML Topics?
Katie joined HealthTree as the Community Director for AML in 2021. She is a registered dietitian who previously worked at the VA hospital in Dallas, Texas where she coached veterans with blood cancer on how to use nutrition to improve their treatment outcomes and minimize cancer-related side effects. Katie is passionate about health education and patient empowerment. In her spare time, she loves to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen, spend time running outdoors and travel to new places.