Cancer Exercise Specialist Helping Clients Achieve Their Full Potential

Deborah Hugh’s is one of 55 speakers from The Breast Cancer Rehabilitaion & Wellness Summit, her interest in fitness and nutrition led her to her first personal training job over 20 years ago. She became Nautilus Certified and continued her education by attending Suffolk Community College to earn her A.S. in Fitness Specialist.  Debbie holds an ACE Certification in Personal Training, is a Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist, a Certified Reiki Practitioner, and is currently enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) earning her Holistic Health Coach Certification.

Throughout the years she has worked with a variety of clients with many different needs.  In 2005, she started her own company, The Fitness Club, which provides personal training and nutritional counseling to help clients achieve their full potential through exercise, whole foods, and happy living!

Debbie became a Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist after her friend and mentor lost her battle with breast cancer, this led to her to start Strength for Life with Jacqui Errico. It has become her personal mission to promote the amazing benefits of exercise, nutrition and complementary care for those diagnosed with cancer and to keep the memory of her friend alive.

Debbie created a community exercise program in which persons with a cancer diagnosis participate in group classes designed to enhance their recovery process. Services provided will include educating cancer patients and the general public on the benefits of exercise in reducing the risk of certain cancers and improving functional activities.

http://strengthforlifeny.org/ Debbie’s interest in fitness and nutrition led her to her first personal training job over 20 years ago. She became Nautilus Certified and continued her education by attending Suffolk Community College to earn her A.S. in Fitness Specialist.  Debbie holds an ACE Certification in Personal Training, is a Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist, a Certified Reiki Practitioner, and is currently enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) earning her Holistic Health Coach Certification.

 

4 Things To Help Prevent Most Disease

White House Garden Goes Organic For Healthy LifestyleBy: Dr. Michael Greger, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Though I was trained as a general practitioner, my chosen specialty is lifestyle medicine. Most of the reasons we go see our doctors are for diseases that could have been prevented. But lifestyle medicine is not just about preventing chronic disease—it’s also about treating it. And not just treating the disease, but treating the causes of disease.

If people just did four simple things
Stop Smoking For Your Health

#1 No Smoking

The Obama Family Exercising

#2 Exercise A Half Hour A Day

Michelle Obama Shopping At A Farmers Market For Fruits & Vegetables

#3 Eat a Diet That Emphasizes Whole Plant Foods

Eat Diet That Emphasizes Whole Plant Foods

#4 And Not Become Obese

they may prevent most cases of diabetes and heart attacks, half of strokes, and a third of cancers. Even modest changes may be more effective in reducing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and all-cause mortality than almost any other medical intervention.

The key difference between conventional medicine and lifestyle medicine is instead of just treating risk factors, we treat the underlying causes of disease, as Drs. Hyman, Ornish, and Roizen describe in their landmark editorial Lifestyle medicine: treating the causes of disease. Doctors typically treat “risk factors” for disease by giving a lifetime’s worth of medications to lower high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and high cholesterol. But think about it: high blood pressure is just a symptom of diseased and dysfunctional arteries. We can artificially lower blood pressure with drugs, but that’s not treating the underlying cause. To treat the underlying cause, we need things like diet and exercise, the “penicillin” of lifestyle medicine (See Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease).

As Dr. Dean Ornish is fond of saying, disregarding the underlying causes and treating only risk factors is somewhat like mopping up the floor around an over-flowing sink instead of just turning off the faucet, which is why medications usually have to be taken for a lifetime. As Dr. Denis Burkitt described, “if a floor is flooded as a result of a dripping tap, it is of little use to mop up the floor unless the tap is turned off. The water from the tap represents the cost of disease, and the flooded floor represents the diseases filling our hospital beds. Medical students learn far more about methods of floor mopping than about turning off taps, and doctors who are specialists in mops and brushes can earn infinitely more money than those dedicated to shutting off taps.” And the drug companies are more than happy to sell rolls of paper towels so patients can buy a new roll every day for the rest of their lives. Paraphrasing poet, Ogden Nash, modern medicine is making great progress, but is headed in the wrong direction.

When the underlying lifestyle causes are addressed, patients often are able to stop taking medication or avoid surgery. We spend billions cracking patients’ chests open, but only rarely does it actually prolong anyone’s life. Instead of surgery, why not instead wipe out at least 90% of heart disease through prevention? Heart disease accounts for more premature deaths than any other illness and is almost completely preventable simply by changing diet and lifestyle, and the same dietary changes required can prevent or reverse many other chronic diseases as well.

So why don’t more doctors do it?

One reason is doctors don’t get paid to do it. No one profits from lifestyle medicine, so it is not part of medical education or practice. Presently, physicians lack training and financial incentives, so they continue to do what they know how to do: prescribe medication and perform surgery.

After Dean Ornish proved you could open up arteries and reverse our number one cause of death, heart disease, with just a plant-based diet and other healthy lifestyle changes (see Resuscitating Medicare and Our Number One Killer Can Be Stopped), he thought that his studies would have a meaningful effect on the practice of mainstream cardiology. After all, he had found a cure for our #1 killer! But, he admits, he was mistaken. “Physician reimbursement,” he realized, “is a much more powerful determinant of medical practice than research.”

Reimbursement over research. Salary over science. Wealth over health. Not a very flattering portrayal of the healing profession. But if doctors won’t do it without getting paid, let’s get them paid.

So Dr. Ornish went to Washington. He argued that if we train and pay for doctors to learn how to help patients address the real causes of disease with lifestyle medicine and not just treat disease risk factors we could save trillions of dollars. And that’s considering only heart disease, diabetes, prostate and breast cancer. The Take Back Your Health Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate to induce doctors to learn and practice lifestyle medicine, not only because it works better, but because they will be paid to do it. Sadly, the bill died, just like millions of Americans will continue to do with reversible chronic diseases.

By treating the root causes of diseases with plants not pills, we can also avoid the adverse side effects of prescription drugs that kill more than 100,000 Americans every year, effectively making doctors a leading cause of death in the United States. See One in a Thousand: Ending the Heart Disease Epidemic and my live presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

For those surprised that policy makers wouldn’t support such a common sense notion as preventive health, check out my video The McGovern Report. What about medical associations? Medical Associations Oppose Bill to Mandate Nutrition Training.

There is another reason that may explain why the medical profession remains so entrenched. See my video The Tomato Effect.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations More Than an Apple a Day and From Table to Able.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Video Sources

Photo Sources: Obama Eating Fruit, Michelle Obama Shopping, Obama Family Exercising

Cancer-Proofing Your Body

Cancer Proofing Your Body Against Breast Cancer
By:

Lifestyle medicine pioneer Nathan Pritikin was an unlikely candidate to spark a nutrition revolution. He wasn’t a doctor or dietician but an engineer. As featured in my 2-min. NutritionFacts.org video Engineering a Cure, he reversed his own heart disease with a plant-based diet and went on to help millions of others. He even saved the life of my own grandmother, which is what inspired me to go into medicine.

Pritikin’s work has continued though his research foundation. Once Dean Ornish proved that Our Number One Killer Can Be Stopped, the focus shifted from heart disease to cancer. In my 3-min. video Ex Vivo Cancer Proliferation Bioassay, I describe an elegant series of experiments in which people were placed on different diets and their blood was then dripped on cancer cells in a petri dish to see which diet was more effective at suppressing cancer growth.

As you can see in the video, even the blood of those on a standard American diet (S.A.D.) fights cancer, but the blood of those on vegan diets fights about 8 times better. The blood circulating within the bodies of vegans appears to have nearly 8 times the stopping power when it comes to cancer cell growth. That was after maintaining a plant-based diet for a year though.Subsequent studies against breast cancer showed the power of eating plants for just two weeks.

Watch The Answer to the Pritikin Puzzle to see the remarkable results.

This dramatic strengthening of cancer defenses was after 14 days of a plant-based diet and exercise—they were out walking 30 to 60 minutes a day. Although Pritikin started out reversing chronic disease through diet alone, later—to his credit—he added an exercise component as well. That’s great for the patients, but scientifically it makes it hard to tease out which intervention is doing what. Maybe the only reason their blood started becoming so effective at suppressing cancer growth was because of the exercise—maybe the diet component had nothing to do with it. This had to be put to the test.

In my 4-min. video Is It the Diet, the Exercise, or Both? I describe the experiment. Three groups were compared: a plant-based diet and exercise group, an exercise only group, and a control group that did neither. The diet and exercise group had been on a plant-based diet for 14 years along with moderate exercise as simple as walking every day. The second group was exercise and hardcore exercise at that: 14 years of daily, strenuous, hour-long exercise like calisthenics, but they ate the standard American diet. Which group was better at fighting cancer?

The researchers took petri dishes brimming full of human prostate cancer cells and dripped blood from each of the three groups on different dishes to see whose blood killed off more cancer. Watch the diet vs. exercise video to see actual photomicrographs of the effects on cancer cells. Basically they found that strenuous exercise helped, but nothing appeared to kick more cancer butt than a healthy diet.

Even though diet appears more powerful than exercise in terms of rallying one’s cancer defenses it doesn’t mean we can’t do both. In fact eating certain plants may even improve athletic performance—check out my video series that starts with Doping With Beet Juice and ends with So Should We Drink Beet Juice Or Not?.

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 – 2014 presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More than an Apple a Day, and From Table to Able.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Exercise & Breast Cancer

Exercise to Prevent Breast CancerBy: Michael Gregor, MD

We’ve known that physical activity can reduce breast cancer risk, and appears to work especially well at preventing estrogen-receptor negative tumors, the hardest ones to treat. But only last year did we figure how much exercise was needed. We’ve known that light exercise doesn’t work, like a leisurely stroll. It appears useless for preventing breast cancer. And we’ve known that fewer than 10 minutes a day of even good exercise doesn’t work either.

How many minutes of moderately intense exercise — hiking, biking, swimming, aerobics, or even just fast walking — does one need, on average, every day to significantly decrease breast cancer risk?
Less than 10 minutes doesn’t work, but how about a full 10? 15? 30? 45?
Or a full hour a day?
Well, It’s not 10.
It’s not 45.
And it’s not 15.
We need an hour of exercise every day.
Darwin was right: it’s survival of the fittest, so let’s get fit!

Subscribe for free to Dr. Greger’s videos at http://bit.ly/nutritionfactsupdates
Donate at http://bit.ly/nutritionfactsdonation
DESCRIPTION: How many minutes a day of moderately intense exercise is necessary to significantly decrease breast cancer risk? Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/exer… and I’ll try to answer it! And check out the other videos on breast cancer (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/brea…). Also, there are 1,449 other subjects (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/) covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well! Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Breast Cancer and Diet (http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/26/…)

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

 

Ready To Move With A Groove? Exercise – Healthy Bones And A Healthy Heart!

Exercising For Breast Cancer RecoveryHere we are in 2014 and it certainly has been a frigid start to this year! I hope you all had a great ‘jump’ into 2014 and feel inspired as we head into the new year. During the Holiday Season healthy nutrition , can be challenged with the array of Holiday cookies, ‘chocos’ and candies.. Now it is time to place our focus on healthy living. Magazines and Blogs are filled with Detoxes and Cleanse posts…. In this Blog, I instead chose to focus on one of my favorite topics:

It is well known that an exercise program is supportive before, during and after surgery and treatment. Off course it is essential to see it within context of the individual, medical procedures, reaction to meds and energy levels.

Moderation is a big key and it is a great idea to work-out and to ‘work-in’ with quiet, stress reducing modalities such as meditation, Gentle Yoga, Qi Gong or a walk in Nature.

Here are a few points regarding exercise during and post-surgery and/or treatment:

  • Strength training will support bone integrity that becomes compromised with chemo and steroids. Discuss this with your physician if lymph nodes are affected in your cancer treatment or lymphodema in the arm is present.
  • A moderate/low intensity cardio program will support a healthy heart, circulation and mood – a mild sweat is a good guideline. Do wipe off the sweat so it does not re-enter the body, after all, the skin is an organ of elimination. (While undergoing radiation treatment, do discuss this with your doctor, as there are restrictions.)
  • Clothing might present some challenges. Make comfortable and organic cotton choices that allow free movement and airflow.
  • Physical therapy, post-therapy exercise will provide ROM (range of motion) as incisions start to heal. You want to avoid restrictions in movement to prevent secondary shoulder, wrist, neck and back problems. The process of regaining full range of motion after surgery does take time.
  • Acupuncture on the scares and adhesions is a good idea as scars can disrupt the nervous system. At the same time it will boost immune function and provide stress reduction. It is necessary to wait for healing of the skin.
    Fatigue must be respected – yet a gentle exercise program will actually increase energy and support lymphatic flow.
  • Posture exercises: With the physical, emotional and psychological trauma, it is ‘normal’ to pull inwards in a protective manner esp. after surgery. Awareness and gentle exercises that pay attention to good posture will support the physical body and energetic flow between organs and glands.
  • Social support and laughter are so important. If possible seek out a fun, nurturing and safe environment. Uplifting music does help too!
  • Radiation adversely affects heart and lung health. (I am aware that this is a controversial point.) The bottom line is: Do support your cardiovascular system

When it is cold outside, we must make sure to get our daily movement. Certainly there is nothing more refreshing and immune – stimulating than taking a brisk walk outside! However, trying to maneuver icy pavements or paths in Central Park can be challenging and this does increase the risk of falling.

I believe in ‘risk assessment’: Exercise regularly and moderately, but in a safe and fun environment.

Basic Facts: Let’s Talk About Exercise, Heart Health & Nutrition!
For bone health, esp. in menopause, it is important to add ‘stress’ on the bones. Walking is great, but it is not enough to facilitate sufficient bone stress and remodeling of bone. Walking does support a healthy cardiovascular system, lymphatic drainage and detoxification – besides burning off those Holiday treats…

Resistance training is essential to support stronger bones, especially if one has a genetically predetermined small frame. It is not about lifting heavy weights ‘a la Schwarzenegger’ and one generally does not ‘bulk up’ easily – a concern I still hear about today. Weight training for healthy bones is about a regular ‘overload’ on the connective tissue. If you carry your own shopping bags twice a week, you are doing your bones (but maybe not your back) a favor!

As a Nutrition and Exercise Specialist, I do stress that bones must be supported with good nutrition and a regular weight – training exercise program. It is also helpful not to live on an adrenaline rush. The hormones, esp. elevated cortisol, will adversely affect the mineral metabolism and bone health.

Acid-blocking medications will affect the absorption of calcium and magnesium from foods. This can result in a calcium deficiency affecting bones and teeth, increasing the risk of fractures and cavities. If you are using acid blocking meds, you are welcome to connect with me to discuss your options.

As we age, our tendons are more at risk, esp. if we have not been exposed to using weights or athletic movements. It is better to err on the side of caution by receiving expert guidance. Schedule a few sessions with a professional to get you going or join an exercise class with a good instructor. (Do your research!!!)

If there are pre-existing and additional physical restrictions e.g. joint concerns or joint replacements or other medical considerations, I would recommend starting up with the advice of an exercise professional. I have some clients, whom I meet for a few sessions to ‘get the ball rolling’.

Exercise movements that are functional and support balance training should be incorporated. Core training, stability and flexibility training must also be part of the program. All will support activities of daily living. As we age, generally it is the lack of flexibility and muscle tissue that can predispose us to a greater risk of injury, falls and decreased function.

Heart Health?

Despite all we hear about cancer, it is important to note that heart disease is still the #1 killer of men and women. Certainly, many factors play a role. However, do consider that the heart is a muscle and it needs to be kept strong with regular and continuous exercise.

Heart health requires good nutrition and regular exercise. Various medications will rob nutrients from the heart, brain and body. These nutrients include vitamins such as vitamin A, B, C, and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and CoQ10 and more…All are essential to maintain a healthy heart. If you are on medications, you would want to consider the possibility of medication induced vitamin/mineral deficiency. Chronic stress, living on an adrenaline charge and lack of sleep affects heart health adversely. Exercise is a great stress-reducing modality – but do make sure you rest too and do not over-exercise esp. cardio training!

What Else?

From a mind body perspective, integration of Yoga or other stress – reducing techniques incl. mediation are terrific.

Pilates is very popular too and it is very helpful for flexibility and reduced joint stress.

What matters most?

Choose an exercise program that is right for you!
Choose an exercise program that suits your needs, is effective and does not create pain. Sure, a little sore muscle here and there after strength work will let you now that you made ‘communication’ – your bones will be happy. What can happen with strength training is ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)’. This happens within 24-48 hrs.

Before starting on an exercise program, do check in with your physician if you are on medications and/or have health concerns. Should you have had surgery, it is best to receive ‘clearance’ from the doc before starting to exercise.

In the meantime, let’s keep walking, healing and smiling!

Rika_KechAbout Rika Keck: Find Rika at NYIntegratedHealth.com
 . Rika specializes in Nutrition, Fitness and  Women’s Wellness. Rika is Certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, also a CMTA Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant and Holistic Life Coach.
Rika Keck, FDN, ACN, CMTA
http://www.NYIntegratedHealth.com
646 285-8588
646 285-8588

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