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5 Things People Who Once Had Cancer Want to Tell You

5 Things People Who Once Had Cancer Want to Tell You

Hearing you have cancer is life-changing and overwhelming in many ways. It is true that some cancer diagnoses do not have a cure, but that is not the case for all. Many cancer patients have come back from their fight in full remission, with a new, hope-filled outlook on life. Here are a few ways that cancer survivors’ perspective on their lives changed after they went through their own illnesses.

1. We know not to get caught up in statistics

It can be easy to spend hours on Google searching your particular cancer and coming across articles and testimonials that will leave you with little hope. It is important when you are diagnosed to avoid the black hole of the Internet, and instead discuss concerns and reliable resources with your primary doctor. Every cancer patient is different and their body reacts to the illness in a way that is unique to their physiological make-up. Having cancer provides enough stress as it is, and it is important to focus on the positive instead of the negative.

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2. We know to be our own advocate

If something does not feel right with your treatment plan, it is important to be proactive and get a second opinion from another medical professional. Doctors will always differ in what they believe in is the right process to fight cancer and so getting a second and even a third opinion is crucial to your overall recovery. Of equal importance, listen to your gut when you think that something feels right, because it usually is.

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3. We know that it is best to take it one day at a time

Having a cancer diagnosis is an overwhelming life event that will make you want to think about the bigger picture and focus on the future. It is important instead to focus on each day as it comes and remain in the present. This will help you relieve a lot of stress and also make you feel that you are better equipped to tackle the day-to-day problems that are bound to arise.

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4. We know that you do not have to face cancer by yourself

Dealing with cancer is a scary thing, but what makes it easier is finding a support group where members can relate to exactly what you are going through. You can find these groups at your local hospital or clinic, community college or adult learning center, or through your primary doctor. Making the effort to connect with others who are experiencing a similar illness is important, because not only does being social boost your mental state, it can give you the positive encouragement to recover. If one-on-one therapy is more your cup of tea, seek out a mental health professional in your area that can help you through some of the complex emotions that are associated with cancer.

5. We know that taking care of your body and mind is of the utmost importance

There will be some days where you just feel like lying on the couch and eating comfort foods. This is perfectly fine to do, but it is also important to continue to nourish your body with the proper nutrients and eat a balanced diet. It is also important to remain as active as possible, even if it is just a 20-minute walk around the block. Taking care of your mind is also just as important as well, whether it is doing restorative yoga or taking a few minutes to meditate. Just because your body is sick does not mean it cannot heal and it is important to do everything in your power to help it do so.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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