I took a little break last week. It was half term here in Leicester and I had booked some annual leave to enjoy time out with the family (although I did end up spending a huge chunk of that time writing a paper for work, but never mind!)
However, I had also fallen prey to the dreaded lurgy that was doing the rounds. I hadn’t been looking after myself properly - you know, the usual drill...burning the candle at both ends, not eating a terribly great diet, making excuses about exercise because I was “too busy”...(I’m sure you’ve heard this sort of thing before!).
Maybe you’ve been there yourself?
Heck, maybe you’re there now too?! (I really hope not, but if that is the case, reach out and let’s chat - helping others is one of my core values).
But then something shifted in me. You see, I’d presented my research at a conference on the 23rd of May - a conference called “Why is Moving Medicine?”, which was kind of ironic as I sat there coughing and spluttering throughout the talks, and kept having to excuse myself so as not to disturb the other speakers too much!
It was a really helpful reminder of something I knew deep down, but had been ignoring…
Moving really IS medicine!
It mobilises your immune cells.
It helps rebalance the chemicals in your brain and therefore boosts your mood.
It even improves insulin sensitivity - quite staggeringly, actually.
And so, as soon as I felt able to, I donned my trainers and went for my first run in quite a wee while…(I’m not gonna lie - it was hard!).
Why is moving medicine...for cancer?
At around the same time, I was also invited to write an article for UK Health Radio’s Health Triangle magazine, and so I decided to stick with my expertise and write about exercise and cancer. You can read the full article here.
But as a brief summary, there are a few different ways that exercise can reduce cancer risk:
1) it alters the amounts of sex hormones kicking around the bloodstream, which are known to promote tumour growth;
2) it reduces the amount of fat (particularly visceral fat around the stomach), and of course fat cells secrete hormones (and other proteins) that help tumours grow;
3) it lowers chronic low grade inflammation - like a slow burning ember causing almost imperceptible damage, little-by-little, which builds up over time to cause damage to the DNA inside our cells; and
4) it mobilises our immune cells, which can kill off rogue cancer cells and then mop up the debris left behind.
And of course, if you’re interested in learning more about exercise and cancer, I’ve written more extensively about the science behind it here:
Be the BEST version of your professional self
No one gets into this line of work with selfish ambition and a hollow tin chest! I’ll bet you are a giver to your CORE.
But we’re all human, and it’s easy to slip up and make mistakes. Sometimes we say or do things with no harmful intention whatsoever, but it can leave those we’re working with feeling a little less than special - a little disempowered.
Download this free guide to learn more about 10 of the most common mistakes cancer professionals make - often inadvertently - and crucially how to avoid making them yourself:
Join the movement
Essential Cancer Education exists to make a difference in the lives of those living through the cancer experience indirectly by assisting cancer professionals in engaging their patients and clients with lasting, positive lifestyle changes to reduce secondary cancer risk.
I believe that through education and increasing public awareness of the impact of our dietary and lifestyle habits on cancer risk, we ALL have the power to reduce cancer incidence. Nearly half of all cancers can be prevented by making positive diet and lifestyle changes. Nearly half!
I can’t do this alone, and I believe I’m part of something bigger. A movement of sorts. And I would LOVE to have you join me in this movement. If you sign up to the mailing list, I’ll keep you posted on news and events that I think might interest you. And I promise not to spam you either! Typically, you can expect to receive one email a week, with some additional surprises now and again when I have something special to share with you that I don’t want you to miss. Sign up here.
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