Fitness matters to everyone, but it is especially important for myeloma patients. The number of treatment options depend a great deal on levels of fitness — Fit, Unfit or Frail — regardless of age. The more fit patients are, the more they are able to tolerate therapies which leads to better, longer lasting outcomes.
Getting back into exercise habits for myeloma patients post-treatment is no easy task. Fatigue, bone issues and neuropathy are common. But one of the best ways to recover physically, mentally and emotionally is to get moving, regardless of the state of your disease. Doing what you can and setting goals will release those endorphins for a happier, stronger and more empowered YOU.
Here's how you can join Muscles for Myeloma to get fit for a good cause:
Register at https://give.crowdcare.org/muscles2016. Set your fitness goal, make a personal "Muscles for Myeloma" page and tell everyone how you're going to get fit during March and April of 2016 (9 weeks). You can walk, run, swim, bike, lift light weights, play a sport, join fitness classes or whatever you enjoy. Even if getting started means walking to the mailbox and back or lifting 1-3 pound weights, set a goal that is right for you. How many total minutes will you exercise in those 9 weeks? Write your fitness plan on your page, upload your photo, take a video and even consider including your own “before” and “after” photos. Make sure you consult your doctor before beginning any fitness program.
Invite family, friend and colleagues to make a pledge donation on your page for each minute you plan to exercise. For example, if you plan to exercise 1500 minutes from March 1 – April 30, ask them to sponsor you for 1 cent per minute ($15), 10 cents per minute ($150), 25 cents per minute ($375), or $1 per minute ($1,500). Ask them to write the amount of their pledge in the comments section of your page. On May 1 you can contact them to share how many minutes you achieved. Having accountability will make it more likely that you succeed.
Working out with friends can be more fun than going it alone. Invite your friends, spouse, children, colleagues, teams or exercise classes to join you in the Muscles for Myeloma fitness challenge. You can even turn your page into a team page - a family page, company page or support group page.
From March 1 - April 30, run, walk, swim, bike, lift, play, jump or do whatever works for you. Consider joining an event during or after the challenge to give yourself a longer term goal and keep you motivated. (We'll have a list of events you can consider joining where myeloma patients can meet up). You'll receive daily emails with fitness, diet, exercise or myeloma tips during the challenge.
We'll add you to our shared Google Doc to let you post the number of minutes exercised once a week to update your supporters. If you record your minutes and raise over $100, you’ll be automatically entered into drawings for cool fitness prizes!
So let's get started! Join Muscles for Myeloma to get fit this year and raise funds to support ground-breaking research in multiple myeloma, a rare cancer of the bone marrow.
REMEMBER TO CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE BEGINNING ANY FITNESS PROGRAM.
Thanks to our Muscles for Myeloma sponsors, Sanofi Corporation and Takeda Oncology.
about the author
Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of HealthTree Foundation (formerly Myeloma Crowd).