How I Get My Fitness On With Breast Cancer

By Christine Lakin
Updated 2024-03-22 09:14:57 | Published 2022-06-21 15:28:03
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    • Explore our Breast Cancer section on the iMedix Blog for in-depth information on breast cancer detection, treatment, and survivorship. This space is designed to empower patients, survivors, and their loved ones with knowledge and support, providing resources and guidance through every stage of the breast cancer journey.

woman biking in city

From the age of 17, I have always found joy in working out. Whether it's at the gym, in the park, or even at home, exercise has a way of clearing my mind and making me feel strong. This has remained true throughout my breast cancer journey, regardless of whether I feel unwell or full of energy. I always strive to find ways to stay active.

What is the impact of exercise on breast cancer risk and recovery?

In 2020, amidst the desolate streets of Brooklyn, I made the decision to purchase a bicycle. Not an expensive, fancy one, but a discounted bike from Walmart. It was a simple black bike with copper accents and a utility basket in the front. To ensure my safety, I even added a mirror to the handlebar so I could keep an eye on any traffic behind me. I know it may have seemed silly, but I was proud of my Pee-Wee Herman-style bike.

Until that year, it had been over 25 years since I last rode a bike on the streets. I was always too afraid due to the reckless behavior of some motorists. However, I mustered up the courage to go for a ride in the morning, just after sunrise. My husband was concerned and warned me to be extra cautious. I reassured him that I would be careful.

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After maneuvering the bike onto the elevator in my building, I secured my helmet on my head and donned a surgical mask, as it was still the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although I wouldn't be interacting with anyone, I wanted to take precautions. Stepping out onto the pavement, I noticed a few people jogging or walking by. I wasn't afraid, but I took my time before mounting the bike. I looked in both directions to ensure there were no vehicles approaching and then proceeded into the street.

As it turns out, the saying it's just like riding a bike is quite literally true. I hadn't forgotten how to ride, and it felt natural to me like second nature. I felt a sense of freedom and carefreeness, akin to my 12-year-old self, as I gathered speed and let the wind whip through my hair. I spent approximately 30 minutes riding around my neighborhood, momentarily forgetting the weight of my concerns.

In addition to biking, I have incorporated movement into my daily life in various other ways. I choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away when shopping, dance to my favorite songs, do squats during commercial breaks, mow my own lawn, and enjoy gardening. These little activities help keep me active and engaged with my surroundings.

If you're a breast cancer survivor looking to connect with others who have had similar experiences, I encourage you to join our Breast Cancer Facebook Support Group. Together, we can find strength and support in one another.

Christine Lakin is verified user for iMedix

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