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Building Strength after Breast Cancer
Building on a steady foundation: Getting and wearing compression sleeves.
It used to be common for physicians to advise women who have had lymph nodes removed to avoid lifting anything weighing more than ten pounds – forever! Fortunately, University of Pennsylvania researcher Dr. Kathryn Schmitz has turned that advice on its head, based on extensive work she’s done with breast cancer survivors. The truth is that weight training can be great for the physical and mental health of breast cancer survivors. We just need to be smart about it and wear compression sleeves when we exercise. Check out this video on how and where you can find and use sleeves.
Building your flexibility: Regaining range of motion after breast surgery.
The day after you have a mastectomy and lymph node removal, raising your arms above your head is the last thing you will want to do, yet it’s the most important thing you should do. Breast cancer surgery will cause you to lose the range of motion in your shoulders, and the longer you wait to try to lift your arms, the more severe this restriction can be. In this video, I show you some simple stretches you can do using a doorframe that will enable you to regain almost, if not complete, full range of motion in your arms.
Building your options: How to create an inexpensive and portable home gym.
There are lots of good reasons for wanting the option to exercise at home. It’s convenient, private and can be your least expensive option in the long run. If you are in the middle of cancer treatment, it’s also a good way to minimize your risk of infection by limiting your public exposure. Beginners and advanced exercisers alike can have workouts that are interesting, safe and at the right challenge level using a few key pieces of small and portable exercise equipment, such as dumbbells, Kettle Bells, exercise bands and a step bench. In this video, I show you my home gym and give you suggestions for creating your own.