4 Ways To Get


When someone you love receives a cancer diagnosis, most of the time they’re told the best remedy is rest, rest, and more rest.
There is as preponderance of evidence that shows that people living with cancer should be physically active, but yet we have a culture that says, take it easy, don’t push yourself. 

It’s time for a paradigm shift. 
In an episode of The Art of Living podcast with Dr. Kathryn Schmitz, she explained how she’s changing that culture to move, move, and move a little more!
There are 15,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles that show that once diagnosed, exercising can actually change the trajectory of cancer. Plus, exercise is helpful for the symptoms of cancer as well.
Getting active while sick can be challenging. Here Dr. Schrmitz’ book, Moving Through Cancer, is full of practical advice to help you or someone you love to get moving during cancer treatments. Here are four strategies to help you get motivated.

10-Minute Rule

The “to minute” rule. Nearly all of the cancer patients I speak with who keep up their exercise routine during and after treatment use this rule in some form. This approach to exercising during cancer treatment has been tried and tested by so many patients that even though it has never been formally studied in a research trial, it has been almost universally accepted by exercise scientists.

It’s incredibly straightforward:

Start exercising, and if after 10 minutes you feel better, keep going.

If you feel worse after 10 minutes, stop. More often than not, you will want to keep going.

Everything counts.

Any kind of activity or movement is better than sitting and will translate into some benefit. No one, including you, benefits from sitting on the couch all day for days on end. There have only been a few exercise science studies that have evaluated gardening as a form of physical activity; that said, anyone who has spent an afternoon planting or weeding knows that it is physical work. And all physical work that you do during cancer treatment will improve your fitness on some level.

Social support.

Exercising with a friend has many benefits. When researchers at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living in Melbourne, Australia, summarized the results of twenty-seven published studies, they found that people were much more likely to exercise when they did so with another person, and that this effect was even stronger when the other person was a family member. It also feels better to exercise with another person. Those who exercise with a friend report that the experience is more calming; other studies have found that exercising in groups reduces stress and increases mental and emotional well-being compared with exercising alone. Finally, people tend to exercise more vigorously when they’re with someone else, particularly when the other person is more fit, due to a behavioral phenomenon known as the Kohler effect no one wants to be the slowest or weakest person in the group, so everyone works harder as a result.

Get out into nature.

It is not surprising that disconnecting from our busy lives and getting outside into nature-a practice known in Japan as “forest bathing”- is good for us. We know intuitively that it feels good, but recently researchers have done many studies comparing indoor versus outdoor exercise to understand why. Not surprisingly, exercising outdoors feels more revitalizing, engaging, and satisfying than being indoors, and when people exercise outdoors they feel more committed to doing it again later. Exercising outdoors also seems to improve self-esteem and reduce tension, anger, and depression-common feelings immediately after a cancer diagnosis. Interestingly, the first five minutes of exercising outdoors seems to have the greatest impact on mood.