How to live a healthy, happy life as a cancer survivor

“Cancer wasn’t even on our radar, now it is a major focus.”
Amanda Moran, MA, Ed, EdS, group fitness director for Ascension Genesys Health Club, was a featured guest on The Breast of Everything podcast, sharing not only her own family experience with breast cancer, but also advice on how to live a healthy, happy, active, and truly enjoyable life as a cancer survivor.Amanda admits she hadn’t gone for a mammogram screening until after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She, her mother, and her five sisters, all led a very active lifestyle and made healthy choices most of their life. Why should they worry about anyone getting cancer? Amanda uses her own personal experience when working with Ascension Genesys Health Club members looking for ways to live a more active lifestyle.For cancer patients – as well as everyone– getting started with an exercise routine is the toughest part.
Choose an activity that is fun for you, one that keeps your interest and one you look forward to, she recommends. For some women, it may be Zumba, for others a Spinning class makes them happy. You shouldn’t be saying with an ugh, “I have to work out.” Instead, it should be “I want to work out.” Find an activity that gets you excited and motivated.After cancer, patients are weak, tired and think it will be too hard to get back into exercise or begin to add exercise to their life. Take one day at a time, she advises. Start with some simple body weight strengthening exercises. No matter what age you are, you can start strength training. It never is too late to rebuild your body.
Exercise can be a great social outlet; patients have been through so much emotionally and physically, however, now, more than ever, they need to keep their body and mind healthy.Diet is another concern. What do you like to eat? What do you not like to eat? Take out the bad fat. Cut down on red meat consumption. Add more plant-based foods to your diet and keep it simple. Choose the foods you like that are nutritional. You don’t – and shouldn’t – go on a diet, she advises. Diets do not work. Start small, make one tiny change at a time, and little by little you will see the unhealthy habits substituted for healthy ones. This should help you stay on the path of success because it is the path you chose.  Remember, you can do everything possible to control your risk for cancer, but even vegetarian marathon runners can get cancer. Focus on what you can control, get your regular screenings, stay active, stay healthy, be happy and make it a good life!


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