By Abby Woodward
I lived in Vancouver, Canada for about seven years. The area is famous for it’s nature and wildlife, which usually aren’t too far away from where residents live. Right next to my house was a short trail that did a loop through the woods before coming out further down the street. Something I loved to do was go for a short walk to enjoy the beauty of nature and feel peace while being active.
Living with AML can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. It’s important to remember that small pockets of time throughout the day can be used to as both a wellness moment and an opportunity to be active and care for our bodies in the midst of fighting a disease.
One way to take care of ourselves is through meditation or deep breathing exercises. These practices can help to clear the mind and reduce stress. They can be done for just a few minutes at a time, and can be done anywhere– whether it's in a quiet room or outside in nature.
Another way to find peace is through being physically active. Getting outside and moving is a great way to get some fresh air, enjoy your surroundings, and feel refreshed.
Exercise has been shown to have many benefits for cancer patients, including improved physical function and quality of life. Short, easy-to-do exercises like taking a walk, stretching, or doing chair exercises can be done in small pockets of time throughout the day. One of my favorite things to do is just get up and (try) to touch my toes! Just moving a little bit makes a big difference and always leaves me feeling a little bit more refreshed and energized.
Finding time throughout the day to both find peace and be active can help manage the physical and emotional challenges of AML. It doesn’t have to be a lot! It can be taking a walk around the neighborhood, doing some stretches, or even taking a deep breath! All of these things can help us be active and stay positive.
Struggling to get moving? Watch the recording of this past Adult AML Chapter event on "Finding Mental Strength Through Physical Activity"
about the author
Multiple myeloma patient, sister-in-law to AML patient, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by joining their disease communities and contributing their patient stories to advance a cure. Founder of the HealthTree Foundation.