Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Crucial Catch

Unless you’ve been asleep this entire month, you’ve  noticed our Ram’s players, as well as other NFL teams, sporting pink with the Crucial Catch campaign. Pink gloves, shoes, towels, even mouthguards.

It’s not just a mass movement of football players getting in touch with their feminine side. But an effort to support Breast Cancer awareness. (You can find out more about the NFL's campaign here.)

Even as big as the Komen walk is every year, I think having NFL athletes sporting pink has a much broader reach. It's one of the smartest marketing partnerships I've ever seen.

Today I have a suggestion for you and a way to support Breast Cancer awareness (as well as other deadly cancers).

As a fitness professional for over 12 years I’ve always encouraged everyone and anyone to exercise more. Doesn’t matter what your motive is. Just get moving.

Recently, the medical community has further supported the importance of encouraging adults to be more physically active, especially for individuals who have or are at high risk for life-threatening diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.*

I think that is the very first line of support for Breast Cancer awareness. Yes, you should wear pink, participate in the Komen walk, and support the cause in other ways. But there is no better way to start than with yourself. Especially if you have specific risk factors associated with breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), more than 572,000 Americans die of cancer each year, with 1/3 of the deaths linked to poor diet, physical inactivity and being overweight.* The most important things you can do to help reduce cancer risk for you and your family include:

  • Establishing and maintaining a healthy weight. 
  • Incorporating regular, consistent physical activity into your lifestyle. 
  • Making healthy food choices with a focus on plant-based foods. 

The latest recommendations from the ACS in regard to healthy physical activity levels for adults include 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activities each week.

As I tell our clients make sure you distinguish between exercise and activity. Walking your dog while she stops to go to the bathroom and sniffs the bushes is NOT exercise. Brisk walking, biking and hiking would be moderate while vigorous activities would be a Fitness Together workout.:-) There's no time for Fido to distract you here!

In addition to adding regular workout sessions into your daily schedule, you also can begin incorporating more active habits into your normal daily routine. Starting today, try incorporating as many of the following approaches (suggested by ACS) as possible to support an active and healthy lifestyle.

  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walk or bike to your destination. 
  • Be active at lunch with your co-workers, family, or friends.
  • Take a 20-minute activity break at work to stretch, or take a quick walk.
  • Walk to visit co-workers instead of sending an e-mail message.
  • Go dancing with your spouse or friends.
  • Plan active vacations, rather than driving trips.
  • Wear a pedometer every day to increase your number of daily steps.
  • Join a sports or recreation team.
  • Use a stationary bicycle or treadmill while watching TV.
  • Plan your activity routine to slowly increase the days per week and minutes per session. 2

Breast cancer is a deadly disease that continues to take the lives of too many mothers, sisters, wives, grandmothers, aunts and best friends in our community every year. And it doesn’t have to be this deadly (remember, 1/3 of the deaths are linked to poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight).

But it’s gotta start with you.

Before  you point your finger elsewhere, point it at yourself. Not only will you help yourself, but you’ll set a positive example for your kids, siblings, friends, and others.

My mission in life is to help people get healthy and fit. I don't care what your reason is. But supporting breast cancer is a great way to get motivated and help reduce the risk of this life-threatening disease.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Make a point to not only support awareness in our community, but take a step to a healthier you. If you're struggling with motivation visit the Komen website. They have an awesome series called "31 Days of Impact". It highlights women and their stories behind this disease.

In health,
Tim Chudy
Fitness Together

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov.
*American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org.