As the director of an exercise program for breast cancer survivors at a cancer center, I need to be able to understand how to organize activities that will promote optimal health benefits, both physically and mentally.
According to the Journal of American Medical Association, women with breast cancer should follow the U.S. physical activity recommendations (Holmes, Chen, Feskanich, Kroenke, & Colditz, 2005). Physical activity guidelines for adults (age 18-64) state that 2 and a half hours of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity is required per week in order to maintain and achieve health benefits. The activity should be performed in 10+ minute bouts spread evenly throughout the week. Also, muscle strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups are required on 2 or more days of the week (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2008).
It must be taken into consideration that this is not the average population we are working with. These are survivors of a fatal disease and health guidelines may need to be altered in order for them to be as physically active as their abilities allow. It has been supported that physical activity improves quality of life, reduces fatigue, and assists with energy balance in cancer patients and survivors (U.S. National Institutes of Health, 2009). The Journal of American Medical Association also supports physical activity after a breast cancer diagnosis may reduce the risk of death from the fatal disease. Researchers found the greatest benefit to be walking 3 to 5 hours per week at an average pace (Holmes, Chen, Feskanich, Kroenke, & Colditz, 2005).
These participants are not only concerned with the physical activity aspect, but with quality of life as well. According to Gill & Williams (2008), quality of life consists of the person’s perceived physical, social, and psychological well-being. This being said, it is my focus to improve each category for the participants. Using the QoL model, I will concentrate on specific aspects of quality of life in order to enhance the exercise program.
The participants will receive pre and post assessments of physical and mental states where goal setting will take place, and a personal exercise program. The classes will warm up and cool down together; however each participant has their own individualized program to run through each time they come. Certified trainers will provide one on one time throughout the class. Each person’s program will consist of cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility exercises that fit the needs of each individual, as well as lead towards their personal goals.
The exercise program provided for cancer survivors will allow for camaraderie and encouragement from being with other survivors. They will be able to relate and turn to each other and share similar experiences. The program will aid in attaining healthy lifestyles physically and emotionally. The physical activity guidelines for American’s will be enforced, as well as concentrating on the particular needs of the different situations each participant will have.
Gill, D., & Williams, L. . (2008). Psychological dynamics of sport and exercise. pp. 175-177. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Holmes, M.D., Chen, W.Y., Feskanich, D., Kroenke, C.H., & Colditz, G.A. (2005). Physical activity and survival after breast cancer diagnosis. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 293(20), 2479-2486. Retrieved from http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/293/20/2479 doi: N/A
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2008). 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. Retrieved from http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx
U.S. National Institutes of Health. (2009, July 22). Physical activity and cancer. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/