It seems I’ve gotten into the habit of kicking each new work week with a shot of “Monday Motivation” in the hopes of inspiring more people get moving. On this particular Monday, we also happen to be kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, it’s the perfect time for me to tell you about yet another reason to make exercise a part of your life.
According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, there is strong evidence that physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer. Add that to the already long list of benefits from exercise, and you have just one more reason why there’s no better time than now to make fit some fitness into your daily routine!
My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. The day she and my dad sat me down to tell me was probably the scariest in my life to date. Fortunately, because my mom has always been adamant about keeping up with her health screenings, the doctors detected the cancer early and she beat it. Today, I am lucky and blessed to be able to say my mom is among the 2.6 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.
Her diagnosis put me on alert regarding my own health and made me want to do research, speak with my own physicians and learn everything I could about reducing my risk and how to be even more proactive about my health. I had my first mammogram a few months ago. Despite a slight scare when I had to go back for follow-up imaging, everything came back fine in the end. My doctors now have a baseline to compare additional screenings in the future and having that kind of knowledge can only help me stay on top of my health in the long run.
I’ll never be able to thank my mom for all she has given me throughout my life (my dad, too). Along with unconditional love and unwavering support, she has taught me so many important lessons without even knowing it. One of the most important things I have learned is it is important to take care of yourself so you can give of yourself- your time, energy, compassion and love – to others.
To that end, exercise has been a key component for my own well-being while giving me the energy to be concerned about the well being of others. I encourage anyone reading this post to take charge of your health:
- Talk to your physician(s) about your family history and other risk factors for cancer and other diseases
- Don’t put off important health screenings
- When it comes to your eating habits, I believe moderation is crucial to maintaining a “diet” you can live with
If you’ve been looking for a time to turn your take-care-of-you goals into reality, here’s your chance. Make this Breast Cancer Awareness Month your time to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!