You may remember Martin and his story. After 10 years in a corporate environment he decided to leave and work with oncological patients. I got attracted by his story also from a different perspective – in his work Martin tries to focus on the connection between our mind, overall psychological setup and our emotions on one side and our overall health status, potentially the progression of the disease on the other side. Martin himself is a sportsman and he applies the aspects of sport and regular exercise, ideally in nature, into his work with his patients.
I asked Martin to write a short article about regular exercising and its influence on our life, as well as on the life from the oncological world.
Exercising is a natural part of our life, which we unfortunately sometimes forget. Our body consists of 200 bones and 600 muscles, it is made to move and exercise and thousands of years it worked like this. Our body is (partially) a mechanic bio-machine, which needs, like our cars, some maintenance and regular traffic.
Why am I talking about cars? Sometimes I have the feeling that a lot of my clients like to dedicate more time to their cars than to their bodies (they drive them regularly, visit the auto service, use only a high-quality petrol etc.). To be honest, there is not much of exercising needed, what is enough is just 20-30 minutes a day. For example, a regular exercise of 30 minutes 4 times a week has a proven positive influence in the prevention of the main global diseases, which are cardio-vascular and oncological diseases.
You can already imagine, that a regular exercise is a good prevention against the heart diseases. The fact that it can help also during a cancer fight, is rather new. Nowadays it is mostly proven with the most common cancer types, prostate and breasts.
How does it work? A regular exercise equals a natural stimulator of a well-working immunity system. When this one is working better, it can prevent the early malign stages. The chronic inflammation present in the background of many chronic diseases of today (such as asthma, skin diseases etc.) is absorbed. Last but not least, during a regular activity it comes to reduction of free radicals, who are harming our cell walls. I am sorry for the amount of scientist terms, but it is helpful to repeat, that the positive influence of a regular exercise is not just some “old ladies‘ gossip”. Today we not only know that it works, we also know how!
There are many alternatives for a regular activity. The most natural stays walking and running. They are type of activities our body has been literally constructed for – during running and walking our whole body is challenged in a complex way and a lot of processes are activated.
In addition, it is also proven, that regular activity has a significant anti-depression impact and helps to build the positive mood. A regular activity, during which beta-endorphins and others are released, is not only affecting our body but also our mind. In my daily work with the oncologic patients regular exercising is often a recommended form of recovery (of course taking into consideration the current status of the patients after the treatment). Especially my female clients (for ex. after the breast cancer) dedicate their time to exercising, to avoid the return of the disease.
It is also beneficial to say, that less can be sometimes more, especially when we start to move our bodies after a longer time. It is not necessary to run marathons straight on (although I have such patients too :-). The start should be slow and with a progress, our body needs to get used to the regularity first. After this, we won’t need to push yourself too much, the need to move yourself will come naturally.
Finally, I would like to add, that regular exercising is one of the best preventions against the negative impact of stress to our health. Stress hormones, which are released in stress situations are primarily build to move (attack or escape). If we allow ourselves to not move = not process them, we allow them to continue messing with our body. Would we grant the body a regular activity (for example running), we will not only increase our fitness level and psychological immunity, but we also help the body to fight the stress signals in our system.
PhDr. Ing. Martin Pospíchal