Studies suggest that a having a consistent exercise program and maintaining appropriate body weight are good strategies for preventing cancer and its recurrence. Regular exercise also helps manage stress, and what oncology nurse doesn't need that?
The New Year is a popular time to begin an exercise program, but the reality is the dark mornings and short days of winter, combined with harsh weather, make it the most challenging time of year to keep this resolution. Attending indoor programs at the local gym requires donning waterproof boots, finding parking, trudging into the gym, and then removing layers of winter weather gear. Now we're exhausted before we've even flexed a muscle -- making working out after a busy shift and possibly overtime unappealing. All we want to do is get home and relax with a glass of wine Ö with a snack of course.
I've been a consistent runner for three decades but, when the weather is nasty, even I am tempted to skip a run. That's why I was happy to discover a barre studio nearby my home, making access easy. When the weather is frightful, I can still get in an hour-long combination of barre, Pilates, and yoga.
Perhaps you aren't lucky enough to have easy access to such a studio in your neighborhood. If this is the case, you're going to love discovering the new wave of home subscription exercise programs. Many readers may remember the fitness videos from the 80s -- Jane Fonda's being especially popular. Thanks to easy access to video making, gyms and fitness studios are reaching out to at-home exercisers by creating online workout subscriptions. For as little as $10 a month, you can access a variety of workout programs from the comfort of your living room. Many do not require props or weights, and the back of a dining room chair readily takes the place of a barre for postures requiring one.
Another reason to have an online exercise program subscription is that you can take it with you when traveling. This is important, because recent studies show that it takes 66 days to form a habit, about three times longer than previously believed. If travel is part of your nursing career, or you've got a sun-seeking vacation coming up in the next month or so, the ability to stick with your exercise resolution is crucial to its success.
When it comes to online exercise programs, I think of how this could benefit our oncology patients as well. For those patients who are neutropenic or not looking their best, this would be a great way to stay active within the safety and comfort of their own homes.
My favorite program offers hundreds of online workouts, with the choice of targeting specific areas, like core or lower body. The workouts are further categorized by the time frame you have available: 10, 20, 45 minutes, or an hour.
There are no more excuses.
Here's to a fit and fabulous New Year!