Exercise Habits: 5 Tips to Make Exercise Stick!

Are you one of those people who has a really hard time creating exercise habits that stick?

You’re not alone. Long work hours here in the Silicon Valley combined with multiple after-school activities for kids as well as volunteer and social commitments really eat up the hours in our days.

It’s common knowledge that regular exercise helps us maintain a healthy weight, manage stress and decrease our risk for some diseases. Even with the knowledge of how important regular exercise is to our well-being, we often don’t do it.

Becoming a regular exerciser really comes down to making physical activity a habit. Over time, your habits become part of who you are. As a San Jose personal trainer, I work with my clients on activities and behaviors that will help instill a habit of regular exercise into their lifestyle. It’s not easy, but will repeated practice, you really can become a regular exerciser. You’ll actually feel the need to exercise because you feel better when you do and worse when you don’t!

Here are my top 5 tips for making exercise a regular habit:

1) Pick an activity you enjoy

If you can’t stand doing it—you’re going to find every excuse in the book NOT to do it! If you hate swimming, just don’t even think about starting a swim program. If you really think you hate ALL forms of exercise, pick the least objectionable activity 😉 . Keep an open mind as to what the term “exercise” encompasses. You might need to move away from the concept of a regimented “workout” (say, a group exercise class) towards something we might define more as “physical activity” (perhaps a hike or a pick-up basketball game).

2) Get some social commitment

When someone else is involved—you tend to show up. Get yourself an exercise buddy. And don’t choose a flakey friend! When you have an accountability partner, you’re MUCH more likely to stick to your program. Also, because your activity involves a social component, you’ll likely enjoy it more.

3) Make it a priority

This can be really hard, but I really want you to try it. Think of your exercise program as an appointment you keep with yourself. Just like you keep a dentist appointment—schedule your exercise and SHOW UP. See #2 for a way to make it more likely that you’ll show up (get that friend or co-worker committed to you!).

4) Log your activity

Pedometers are great for counting steps and measuring your activity as are all the activity trackers out there (Jawbone, FitBit, etc). Sometimes just to get a few more steps in, you’ll take the stairs or park your car further away at the mall. I also ask my personal training clients to log how they feel while they exercise. When they look back over past months, they see how far they’ve come and how much their fitness has improved. I’ve found logging activity to be extremely motivational for many of my clients.

5) Reward yourself

Set yourself up for little challenges and rewards. For instance, if you do some sort of physical activity for X days this month, you’ll reward yourself with a trip to a sporting goods store for new gear, or perhaps you’ll gift yourself with a massage. Only reward yourself if you reach the goal you set for yourself.

Good exercise habits take time to develop. Be patient, be consistent and keep repeating these 5 steps to become a regular exerciser who absolutely, positively makes time for exercise because its just part of WHO YOU ARE!

Committed to your success,


Exercise Motivation: 20 Reasons To Start Exercising (Part 2)

Exercise motivationI’m back with the second half of my list of 20 reasons to start exercising.

If you missed Part 1 of my exercise motivation post, you can see it here.

Remember, if you find yourself losing motivation to exercise–print out this list and post it somewhere so that you have a constant reminder of the benefits of exercise.  The hardest part of working out is just getting up and getting started.

Use reasons 11-20 below to help you get motivated to get up and off the couch!

Ten MORE Reasons to Start Exercising

11. You’ll lose the jiggles: Regular exercise tightens flabby arms, legs and waistlines. So wave goodbye to the jiggles with a solid exercise program.

12. You’ll increase insulin sensitivity: Researchers at Laval University in Quebec discovered that exercise improved insulin sensitivity dramatically. Peak after-meal insulin levels dropped by more than 20 percent after as little as 3 weeks of consistent exercise.

13. You’ll sleep better: Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep? Exercise is a powerful sleep aid. Your tired muscles encourage your body to quickly fall asleep so they can get their overnight repair work done.Regular exercise helps you sleep better

14. You’ll lower your risk of heart disease: Regular exercise strengthens your heart and makes it more resilient against disease. A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for heart disease, so rest assured that consistent exercise is your ally against disease.

15. You’ll feel great: Vigorous exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) into your blood stream that dissolve pain and anxiety. You’ve probably heard of ‘runner’s high’, this can be achieved by any great workout.

16. You’ll lower your risk of diabetes: Studies show that exercising as little as half an hour each day can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes. If you are at risk of diabetes, or already have diabetes, regular exercise is the most effective treatment for reversing the disease.

17. You’ll meet cool people: You could benefit from a group of new, energetic friends, right? Gyms, bootcamps, workout centers and even the jogging trail are all great places to connect with fun new friends.

>>>>>>oh, and there’s always lifeSport Fitness bootcamp in San Jose if you need FUN people with whom to work out  😉 

18. You’ll increase your endurance: Do you ever get out of breath when walking up stairs or through the mall? Regular exercise builds your endurance for everyday activities.

19. Your doctor will be impressed: How many times has your doctor given you the lecture exercising more? Exercise regularly and get your MD off your back!

20. You’ll look amazing: Are you happy with the shape and size of your body? Regular exercise works wonders on your physique. Within a few weeks you’ll see shape and tone in all the right places.

Are you ready to alleviate your anxiety by taking action? Good!


Committed to your success,



Image credits

Exercise Motivation  Quote

Sleeping baby

Exercise Motivation: 20 Reasons To Start Exercising (Part 1)

Motivation to Get Off The Couch The goal of this blog post is to motivate you to take action. Our lives are busy, and exercise motivation can be a real sticking point when you feel your plate is already too full.

I’ll be blunt, though, and tell you that even if you’re busy, it would be a good idea to re-prioritize a few areas in your life to make time for exercise.  If you don’t, you’re eventually going to be sidelined by issues related to poor health and a sedentary lifestyle.

In order to get you motivated to make a lifestyle change, 

I’ve got a list of 20 rewards that you will gain from regular exercise.

I’ll go over the first 10 rewards here, and follow up with another 10 rewards next week.

Do yourself a favor and print this list and post it where you’ll see it every day.

When you need motivation or encouragement, simply read over this list and take action. 

Remember that action alleviates anxiety.

10 Reasons  to Start Exercising

1. You’ll reset your body: Exercise has been described as a giant reset button. A good workout will block appetite swings, improve your mood and even help you sleep.

2. Your clothes will fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, causing your clothes to not only fit better, but to look nicer.

3. You’ll be less stressed: You have enough stress in your life—it’s time for a break ;-). A good workout invigorates your muscles, leaving you relaxed and less stressed.

4. You’ll have more energy: WebMD tallied research studies and concluded that 90% of them prove exercise increases energy levels in sedentary patients. Next time you feel fatigued, fight it with the most powerful tool available: exercise.

5. You’ll be stronger: Exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, two things that you use throughout each day. When you exercise consistently you’ll be pleasantly surprised when difficult tasks begin to seem easy.You get strong when you exercise

6. You’ll be less likely to binge: Exercise has a powerful anti-binge effect on the body. This is due in part to an increase in sensitivity to leptin, a protein hormone which has an appetite-taming effect.

7. You’ll burn calories: You know that excess body fat is made up of stored and unused calories. Rage war against stored fat with calorie-blasting workouts.

8. You’ll be more confident: Who doesn’t wish they walked and talked with more confidence? A consistent exercise program will do just that. As your body becomes more fit, watch your confidence sky-rocket.

9. You’ll have fun: Believe it or not, exercise can be extremely enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run around as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find a mode of exercise that gets you excited.

>>>>(side note:  If you’re not currently having FUN when you work out, puuuullleeeaaasse contact me about a free trial at a lifeSport Fitness boot camp in San Jose!!)

10. You’ll reduce your blood pressure: Exercise has been proven more effective than medication in reducing blood pressure to normal levels. A single workout has been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day and regular exercise reduces overall blood pressure in the long run.

I think the hardest part about regular exercise is simply getting started.

Hopefully these first 10 reasons have motivated you to get your workout gear on.

I’ll be back with another 10 reasons next week!


Committed to your success,




Image credits:

Couch Potato

Strong Women

Strength Training: The Best Way To Get Fit

Strength Training With Kettlebells at San Jose Boot CampTalk to 10 people and you’ll get 10 different opinions on the best way to get fit.

One will tell you to attend an aerobics class. Another will swear by jogging. Yet another will tell you that dance and biking worked for them.

The truth is that there’s really only one effective way to get fit and be lean.

Before I get into the details, it’s important that we agree on the definition of ‘fit’. Too often skinny is mistaken for fit, and that’s not what you should strive for. In my opinion, “fit” means that you’re lean, strong, and flexible and that your body functions well as a unit.

When someone is skinny but has very little muscle tissue, they aren’t truly fit.

Here’s why skinny doesn’t equal fit:

  • A skinny person’s body fat percentage could be higher than ideal—even though you don’t see a lot of fat on them
  • A skinny person’s resting metabolism will be low since little muscle is present to burn calories at rest
  • A skinny person’s body won’t be functionally strong, which can  lead to injuries

So how does one get truly fit? It’s this simple: Strength Training 

Strength training is when resistance is used to challenge your muscles in order to gain strength and endurance. You could do this with traditional weights, exercise bands, medicine balls, cable machines, sandbags, kettle bells or even just using your own body weight.

Regular strength training has the following benefits…..

  • Improved strength and muscle tone
  • Improved cardiovascular capacity
  • Higher resistance to injury and disease

If that’s not enough to convince you that strength training is the only way to truly become fit, read on…

Top 9 Reasons To Strength Train

1) To Build Muscle and Gain Strength: Don’t worry, ladies. This does NOT mean that you’re going to ‘bulk up’ or look too masculine. What will happen is that your arms, tummy and legs will become tighter, leaner and more defined.

2) To Lose Fat: When it comes to losing size, all that you want to see go is fat, not muscle. Strength training ensures that you maintain and grow those muscles and lose unwanted fat.

3) To Build Strong Bones: The older we get, the more important our bone density is. A good strength training program is one of your best defenses when it comes to osteoporosis.

4) To Alleviate Anxiety, Stress and Depression: Sure there are plenty of pills out there that claim to give these benefits, but you and I both know that strength training is a more wholesome and effective way. And besides, who really wants pharmaceutical side effects?

5) To Sleep Better: Here’s another pill you can stop taking once you start strength training. Study after study have proven that strength training improves sleep.

6) To Improve Chronic Back Pain: If you are one of the millions across the globe who suffer from back pain then you’ll love the benefit of decreased pain.

7) To Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Today diabetes is a huge threat. Minimize your risk by improving insulin sensitivity through regular, challenging strength training.

8) To Improve Good to Bad Cholesterol Ratio: Here is yet another pill that you could potentially stop taking while on a strength training routine. Blood pressure and heart health are of utmost concern, so why not give yourself the advantage of a strength training routine?

9) To Raise your Metabolism: This helps to reduce body fat and to keep that body fat off, even on the days that you aren’t able to exercise. Pretty awesome, right?

A solid strength training routine will tone your legs, lift your buns, strengthen your core, and will result in inches and pounds lost.

All those things I mentioned at the beginning of this post–aerobics class, jogging or biking–these are all great things to do to improve your fitness.  However, to round out that fitness program and get the best results, strength training is the key, hands down!

Not sure how to safely add strength training to your current fitness routine?  Contact us at lifeSport Fitness for a free consultation, or sign up for a free one-week trial at our boot camp workouts in San Jose or Campbell.  We can teach you how to successfully strength train in a one-on-one session or at boot camp.


Committed to your success,




3 Secrets to Achieving Your Exercise Goals

Exercise Goals Finish LineIn my years of fitness coaching, there’s one thing I’ve noticed that keep individuals motivated toward long-term health or exercise goals. It’s connecting what makes them happy to the reward of regular exercise. I’ve seen individuals have tons of willpower at the start of any program, whether it’s a new way eating or new workout program. However, when they don’t connect to their “why,” their reason for making change in their life, it’s not uncommon for the “will” in willpower to become “won’t.”

The good news is that there’s still time to get into shape before summer is in full swing.  If you set specific fitness goals at the beginning of the year, it’s time to dust off those resolutions… but with a twist. Here are three secrets that will keep you on track at the gym, at a boot camp, or on a local walking trail:

1. Make a Specific Plan

Let’s say you’ve got a goal to exercise 3 times a week. Figure out what cues you can add to your environment that will support this goal. If you exercise in the morning, set out your workout clothes before going to bed. Other things can you do that remind you:

  • Put your walking shoes and Fido’s leash near your front door
  • Compile a playlist on your iPod or MP3 player that boosts your mood and puts a spring in your step
  • Make a pact with a workout buddy to meet at the gym. You’ll be more likely to get up and go if you know your friend is waiting for you.

The point here is to break down your exercise goals into small increments that you can achieve. Move from the theoretical to the practical.

2. Visualize

WaikoloaThis is probably the most powerful secret. When you can visualize yourself in a situation that you really want, that’s where positive, long-term change can happen. I’ve got a client who made a collage of her favorite vacation place: Hawaii. Her goal was to be ready for swimsuits and short sleeves. So she found pictures of white sandy beaches, palm trees, and vacationers playing in the surf. She spent time every day looking at her collage, visualizing what it would feel like to confidently wear sleeveless sundresses on Maui.

Studies have shown that those who envision what they want — and feel the good feelings that accompany it — are more likely to achieve their goals. What can you do to visualize your exercise goals?  My client brought her collage with her at the gym, propping it up so she could look at it while on the treadmill. It kept her motivated and happy that she was actively working toward her exercise goals.

Does this sound a bit woo-woo to you? Here’s a scholarly research article from Rutgers University about exercise motivation. When you link something you like (or love) to an activity, your motivation fundamentally changes.

3. Build In Rewards While Working on Exercise Goals

My boot campers know that I’m all about being realistic. At the end of a week I like to enjoy a good glass of wine (may be even two). This routine makes it easier for me to say no to an extra helping of pasta. What kind of rewards can you build into your weekly routine? It’s best if those rewards aren’t food related, something like soak in a bath, a massage or date night at the movies. Long periods of deprivation don’t serve you in the long run. Make a plan, visualize the reward of achieving your exercise goals, and reward yourself along the way.

What other secret would you add to my list?

Bay Area Mud Runs

Bay Area mud runs have exploded in popularity over the past few years. You may even be thinking of signing up for a mud run if you can run up to 12 miles, which is the distance of most mud run.  But beware of the obstacles that are going to present themselves throughout the run. This is what you want to be training for.

It is incredibly important that you incorporate running into your training regime. This is going to help build up your stamina and hopefully keep you in the race until the end. You will need to run at least three or four times a week and build up the amount you run on a day by day basis. You need to constantly improve yourself to ensure you can run over the distance of the race.  Remember, some of your stamina is going to be taken up by the obstacles.  This means that if you are running a three mile race, you should be able to run at least seven miles. Make sure that you run up hills, up stairs and up anything else which will make the run more challenging. Try not to run on flat surfaces constantly – that isn’t the best training for obstacle courses.

Being agile in water is also important. A few mud runs involve swimming, so be prepared for any challenge. In addition, swimming is a great way to build up your stamina, and every little bit is going to help towards a successful run.

You also need to build up your upper body strength since the majority of courses include some sort of pulling obstacles (e.g. climbing ropes, climbing over walls, cargo nets, etc).  Combine push ups with your running activities for more upper body strength.  For a fun challenge, devise a course for yourself (e.g. run some, do push ups, run some more, do a different type of exercise, and so on).

Work on your agility! Mud runs tend to involve a lot of obstacles to jump across or avoid. Don’t just jump up and down. Learn to jump from side to side. Work on that footwork and don’t stop working on it.

Remember, in most cases a mud run isn’t a race. It is a challenge to get to the end. This will be one of the most physically demanding things that you have ever done in your life.  If you can train to the point where you can make it to the end, you are already doing better than most people.

If you’re looking for a mud run in San Jose, the Gladiator Rock ‘n Run will be held on June 15th-16th, 2013.  The event is for all shapes and sizes. Perfect for anyone who wants to have a great time and challenge themselves. Save $5 off the registration by providing promo code: LIFESPORTFIT5 (must be in all caps).

Good luck in your training!

For more articles go to http://lifesportfitness.lifestyleezine.com

Common Boot Camp Misconceptions Part 1

Jack La Lanne's Glamour StretcherIn my 25 years of helping individuals get into shape, I hear a lot of misgivings, myths and misconceptions about signing up for a fitness bootcamp.  In David Letterman style, here’s my top ten list:

 10. I’m Too Old

Actually the oldest boot camper I have trained was well into her 70s.  I’ve also had the privilege of training an 94-year old in personal 1:1 sessions. So, the adage of “you’re never too old” is absolutely true when it comes to exercising. According to Health Magazine, experts believe exercise can be the real fountain of youth. Boosting your metabolism and building healthy muscle can help you feel better and be fit at any age. Plus, there are the side effects: strength training to keep bone density and weight loss to reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes. Hey, Jack La Lanne worked out until his death at 96. At lifeSport Fitness, we even have a Fit & Fab Boot Camp designed just for women over 40.

9. I’m Too Young

Creating healthy habits when you’re young is a good thing! Adding a boot camp into your exercise routine can add variety to typical gym workouts. Even young athletes involved in team sports (such as soccer, volleyball or basketball) may not get a full, well-rounded workout.  Boot camp exercises work the legs as well as upper body, so no one area is over-trained.

8. I Can’t Get Up in the Morning

Yes, it’s true most boot camp programs start early in the morning. Once you get into the routine of rising early for a workout, you’ll find it gets easier. Many clients report that they are more alert and energized throughout the day. When they do sleep, it’s more restful… making it easier to get up in the morning. According to SleepFoundation.org experts, you shouldn’t exercise three hours before bedtime. But if you’re really not a morning person no matter what you’ve tried, there are evening boot camps that may be a better match for your schedule.

7. I Can’t Afford It

Many boot camps are actually less expensive than a gym membership. If you add in the personalized training you receive at a boot camp, the savings is even more dramatic. Frequently eating out or ordering a specialty Starbucks coffee can really add up. Where could you trim an expense or two? Investing in your health is always a good idea. It may even lead to more fiscally friendly habits like packing healthy lunches or snacks rather than drive-thru fare.

6. I’ll Get Hurt

The truth is a qualified trainer knows how to modify exercises to tailor to various fitness levels. Working out in a boot camp is a great way to determine where you’re at and how to improve… under the watchful eye of a certified and knowledgeable instructor.

I’ll be back next week with my remaining 5 Common Boot Camp Misconceptions.

If I’ve already overcome your fear about fitness boot camps, and you’re interested in test driving a lifeSport Fitness boot camp, click here to request a free one-week trial!  I want a FREE week at lifeSport Fitness boot camp in San Jose!!!

Housework, A Different Kind of Workout Routine

Mission ImpossiblesWhile a targeted workout will help with specific fitness goals like fat loss, there is a way to get additional movement into your day without leaving home. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day is recommended  to maintain good health. But what if you just can’t make it to bootcamp or to the gym? There’s a way to use your housework as an exercise workout routine, especially if you put some elbow grease into it.  Keep in mind that high intensity exercise is recommended for fat loss—but getting extra movement into your day will help you burn off a few extra calories!

According to Weight Watchers you can burn up to 250 calories an hour by doing housework, depending upon how hard you work and your weight. Burning calories doing chores isn’t limited to inside, you’re workout routine could also include gardening and other yard work.

Housework Workout Routine Tips

So, here are few tips to make your home chores a better workout routine:

  • Be inefficient. For example, when you’re doing laundry take one load at a time rather than gathering everything at once. By making multiple trips you’re burning more calories. As you are putting things away think how you might run up the stairs more times. You get the idea ;-).
  • Rock out. Nothing will get you moving faster than energizing music. It’ll make the experience more fun and increase your pace while doing your housework workout. Waiting for the laundry to finish drying, dance, swing your arms, do lunges or jumping jacks in place.
  • Mix it up. By varying your tasks means you’ll be using different muscle groups. Making a bed uses different muscles than vacuuming or washing windows.
  • Organize it. Have a pantry or closet that needs some organizing. That’s a perfect time to use a step stool and lift items that will strengthen your arm and back muscles.

Of course housework shouldn’t be your only form of exercise–it’s just a way to increase your movement during the week. But stepping up the intensity when you do housework might potentially shave off a few pounds if your nutrition is in check. One way to track how active you are — when you’re exercising or not — is a FitBit. This tiny electronic companion measures your activity, plus you can tap into the FitBit community to get ideas and join in on some fitness challenges.

So, the moral of the story is:  You can’t expect to lose body fat by doing housework alone. However, housework such as vacuuming and scrubbing floors by hand will definitely put a dent in your overall calorie burn for the day.

If you’re looking for ways to increase your overall “calories out” during a given day, pick up a mop or pull out the vacuum cleaner, throw on some high energy music and get moving!!


Holiday Fitness Gift Ideas from San Jose Boot Camp

Christmas hollyHappy Holidays!  It’s that time of year again to begin creating a holiday gift shopping list.

If you have a fitness enthusiast on your list, giving them a fitness/exercise related gift is a great way to give them a very personalized gift you know they’ll use and enjoy.

If you have a person on your gift list who is currently out of shape and wishes to improve their health, what better way to support and encourage them than to give them an exercise or health-related gift!

Just about everyone we know (including ourselves) needs to change up their routine, get some new workout gear, or pamper their hard-working body.

So….. with improved or continued health and fitness in 2012 as the theme, here are 12 holiday gift ideas that will fit any budget:


Gifts under $25

Drop-in pass for yoga, pilates  or boot camp class

We all need to “change it up” from time to time.  Giving a  friend a pass  to try new workouts is a great way to encourage them to try new things or simply get up off the couch.  Buy a pass for yourself and make it an opportunity to spend quality time with someone you care about.

Ideas:  Tru-Balance Pilates  www.tru-balance.com,  lifeSport Fitness boot camps! 😉  (shameless plug!!)

Jump rope

A jump rope is one of my favorite go-to pieces of equipment for interval training and circuit training.  It’s also a great travel workout accessory.  It’s easy to pack and can be used almost anywhere.  A jump rope makes a great stocking stuffer!

Foam roller

Foam rollers are wonderful for massaging sore muscles and working out kinks in tight muscles.  You can click the image below to learn more about foam rollers
Foam Rollers at Power Systems


Gifts under $50

Medicine ball

Medicine balls are a great addition to someone’s home workout arsenal.  You can use them for core training, strength training and cardio training!

Idea:  www.performbetter.com

Exercise DVD

For people who work out at home, an exercise DVD is a great gift!  You can find DVDs on any type of exercise including strength training, yoga, pilates, kick boxing, and even complete medicine ball workouts.

Idea:  www.collagevideo.com

Gift card for a sporting goods store

If you don’t know what your fitness enthusiast friend might like, a gift card to a local sporting goods or activewear store is an idea to consider.

Ideas: www.SportsAuthority.com, www.lucy.com

A set of exercise bands

Bands are another great tool for a home exerciser’s workout tool box.  They’re also great for travel. You can get 4 bands of different strengths for well  under $50! Click the image below for more information:

Resistance Bands Category


Gifts Under $100

Massage gift certificate

I haven’t met a fitness enthusiast who doesn’t love a good professional massage. ‘Nuff said.

Ideas:  Roman Paradigm Massage,  Dana Dobrenz massage therapy, BodyWork by Roger

Cross training shoes

Good shoes are important.   It may be hard to choose the right shoe and size for someone else, but a gift card to a shoe store that offers professional fitting advice is the next best thing

Ideas:  Athletic Performance  (Willow Glen and Los Gatos locations)


Gifts under $200

One month at a fitness bootcamp

This is giving a true gift of fitness!  One month of professionally designed, calorie-blasting workouts and personalized attention for the special person on your list!

Idea:  BootCamp in San Jose (yes, I know, another shameless plug)

A package of personal training sessions

If the person on your list isn’t a “group” person, or  needs one-on-one help, a few sessions with a professional fitness coach may be just what they need to get them started safely.

Ideas:  Personal training in San Jose  (oh, geez, there I go again!)

TRX Suspension Training System

This is one of my all-time favorite home exercise devices!  You can use it at home, at the park, and even in a hotel room.  Click on the image below to find out more about this amazing exercise equipment.

Okay.  So that’s my list of a dozen ideas for great exercise, health and fitness related gifts.

Let’s get some more exercise and health related gift ideas going!

What other items should we add to my list?  Leave a comment here your exercise or health related gift ideas!


Wishing you a happy holiday season and a healthy 2012!



Exercise During Cancer Treatment: Exploring the Benefits

Physicians believe that exercise can benefit cancer patientsMany thanks to  Sydney Simmons of MesotheliomaSymptoms.com for this guest post on the benefits of exercise during cancer treatment.


For  a healthy individual, exercise can provide both physical and emotional benefits. However, for those with cancer, taking part in high intensity fitness programs can often be overwhelming.

Even if heavy exercise is contraindicated for a very ill patient, with their doctor’s approval they may be able to consider a lower intensity exercise program for the psychological benefits a regular fitness regimen can provide.  Lower intensity exercise might include walking, light bike rides, and light strength training.

The exercise level that is appropriate for a particular person battling cancer often coincides with the stage of cancer a patient is in. In stages one and two, patients are likely to have greater strength and stamina than if they are in a later stage of cancer. For example, mesothelioma cancer patients have a staging system which goes from one to four. Patients who are in stages one and two can often be found partaking in regular routines of exercise and fitness because it helps them feel better and withstand the rigors of treatment better.

Besides allowing them to maintain some level of their fitness during treatment, many cancer  patients find that regular, gentle exercise can help cut down on the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.  Chemotherapy and radiation can often limit the body’s flexibility and bring on nausea and other unpleasant  symptoms. Yoga has been found to not only help cancer patients maintain better flexibility, but also to improve their mental well-being. Time spent exercising can positively affect the mental state by allowing time for reflection, and time away from the hospital, testing, and meeting with doctors.

Certainly physical fitness can bring great value to everyone. For cancer patients, it can play a very special roll in improving stamina during treatment as well as improving mental and emotional outlook.



The Mesothelioma Support Network has pulled together as a single resource everything related to asbestos in order to promote education and awareness for victims, their families, and the general public. Our goal is to provide accurate, relevant information that can be used for general informational purposes, and to advocate for a greater awareness of the dangers of asbestos and the realities of mesothelioma.