Thursday, April 25, 2013

Don't Let Cancer Stop You From Moving: A guest blog from Melanie Bowen

Everyone has either known or met someone who has cancer, and while the news of this disease can bring heartbreak to many people there is a way to fight back and stay healthy through it all. Melanie Bowen emailed me a couple weeks ago and asked me if I would share this article she has written about how you can stay healthy during cancer, please share this with friends, family and loved ones and lets help spread the word on how to stay healthy. A big thank you to Melanie Bowen again for taking the time and sharing this article with us...

Don't Let Cancer Stop You From Moving

A cancer diagnosis is a hard pill for anyone to swallow. It can be a long and difficult road but it can be overcome. There are many thing patients can do outside of traditional treatment, which can help better the odds of survival. Exercise is a key weapon to use while battling cancer. It has countless benefits that may help a cancer patient become a survivor. Even if the tables cannot be turned on the disease, regular exercise may actually prolong a cancer patient's life, giving a person more quality time with their loved ones.

How can exercise help a cancer patient?

According to the National Cancer Institute, physical activity has many positive effects for a cancer patient. Exercise is recommended for all people, regardless of whether there is the presence of cancer or not. Physical activity promotes a stronger body with more energy and more flexibility. It helps a person to maintain a healthy weight and have a strong cardiovascular system. Cancer patients who exercise are less likely to give in to fatigue. Best of all, being active helps a cancer victim to have a better state of mind. It is often said that being positive is key in beating cancer. When patients exercise, they tend to be more optimistic because exercise induces the release of endorphins throughout the body. Endorphins help boost the mood and especially help cancer patients have a higher quality of life. If they sit still and dwell on their illness, they are less likely to overcome it and prone to additional health problems as well.

What kind of exercise can cancer patients do?

Cancer patients need to consider their personal situation and diagnosis. They should do something they enjoy while not being too strenuous on the body. It could be something as easy as going for a walk. They can plan a different route each day, go with friends, or walk on a treadmill. Riding a bike might work for some patients, while yoga might work for others. Swimming is another popular exercise that is excellent for the heart and lungs, yet is low impact. Going on a hike, paying golf, and even Zumba are other options for cancer patients with different interests. Even patients battling mesothelioma or lung cancer can find ways to be physically active, such as light weight lifting in bed since they cannot participate in much exercise requiring cardiovascular activity. Cancer patients need to talk to their doctor about what forms of exercise are considered safe. From that point, a person should adjust an exercise routine according to how he or she is feeling each day. If a person is having a bad day, a shorter workout might be best.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

368 Miles, 2 CrossFit Box’s, 1 Community

I started my CrossFit journey May 28, 2012 at the end of a court in the garage of Ben Smith. Within the first couple months I found tremendous change in the way I was eating, the way I was living, and the way my life was going, but who would know that all that would change when I make the biggest move of my life, to a city where anything can happen.

I showed up to Ben’s garage thinking that I just wanted to get in shape, so I figured I would give CrossFit a shot, since he was one of my best friends and said I could come over and workout with him. Starting out was hard, but its been a decision that I never will question for a second, because it has meant so much to me as a person, and has helped me achieved so much in my life. A huge change not only for myself but also for the entire Smith family was in the horizon and would change the way I train completely.

Seven months later Ben Smith and his family opened up CrossFit Krypton on Kegman Road right down the street from where we graduated from High School back in 2008. It was definitely fun being apart of the construction process and seeing a gym being built from scratch was one of the coolest things I had ever been apart of in my life. Workouts started at CrossFit Krypton on the morning of December 3rd, and immediately I was joined into a community that would be much more than just that, but would become a family to myself and anyone who walks through the doors. CrossFit Krypton is unlike any other “Box” that I have been apart of, it’s more than just a CrossFit gym it’s a CrossFit family, which has become stronger and closer than you could ever imagine. When you are apart of a community like I was at Krypton, the goodbyes are even harder than usual. When I made the move to New York City to pursue my dream of becoming a TV personality I had to say goodbye to a family. The story isn’t over though, CrossFit isn’t just one gym in one state, it is a community all across the world and I realized that when I moved and joined CrossFit NYC, the worlds biggest CrossFit Box.

I showed up for my first WOD at CrossFit NYC April 3, 2013 not knowing who I would meet, or how I would be accepted into their gym, but also taking the skills and the training I had learned from my best friend and coach Ben Smith with my the whole time. I have only been apart of CrossFit NYC for a couple weeks, but I feel like I am meeting more and more people everyday who love what I love, who live a CrossFit lifestyle just like I do. It is hard to make changes, especially when you are making changes at the same time you are changing lifestyles, but the fact that you can walk into any CrossFit Box and feel welcome from Day 1 helps the transition so much easier. CrossFit isn’t just about what Box you belong to, it’s the community of every CrossFit box in the world that really makes this sport one of the most unique sports on planet Earth.