It’s been a while, I know. Too long. I’ve been up at Saratoga playing opera, and spending as much time as humanly possible out hiking, running, and swimming.
And, I’m getting ready another big trip. This is somewhat ironic since I’ve been feeling like I really want to stay home and get my house back in order. But I also love to travel, and believe in taking advantage of a great, if unexpected, opportunity – you never know, the opportunity might not come again.
I’m going to Russia. I’ll be climbing Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe. Although it had been a few years since I’d climbed a big mountain, when I climbed Kilimanjaro last January with Above and Beyond Cancer, my appetite was whetted once again. So when the opportunity to climb Elbrus arose, I jumped.
Then I discovered that some Russian runners/climbers are organizing a race around the base of Mt Elbrus shortly after I’ll be climbing it. So, of course, I’m staying on to run. It’s just a 25K race, but I’ve never run a mountain race before. I think the altitude and the steepness will make the 25 kilometers quite a challenge.
I will post if I can while I’m away, but I’m not sure how possible it will be. So, this is probably it for the next few weeks. I’ll leave you with a couple things to think about.
Back in 2008, a Canadian researcher, Kerry Courneya, published a study in the journal Cancer (June 1, 2008, American Cancer Society) about physical activity and cancer survivors. In this study, cancer survivors were found to have low levels of physical activity and high rates of obesity compared to the general public, both factors which can have a detrimental effect on the control and outcome of their disease. He found that just slightly more than 20% of cancer survivors were active after their diagnosis. Also, one in five survivors were obese, and one in three were overweight. (you can read more about the study on the Life-Cise News page)
This study is a few years old, but there is no evidence that anything has changed in the last few years. This is one of the reasons I started Life-Cise.
And if you’d like some interesting reading on why this is important, go to the American Cancer Society’s website and download their Cancer Facts & Figures 2012. A very large part of the report is devoted to physical activity and overweight/obesity and their relationship to cancer. Lack of regular exercise and excess weight are linked to many types of cancer. But more importantly for those of us who have already had cancer, they are also strongly linked to poorer outcomes for several cancers, including breast, colon, and prostate. ACS estimates that about a third of cancer deaths are related to excess weight and lack of exercise.
Think about that while I’m away. This matters – for all of us. You don’t have to do what I do. You don’t have to be obsessed with climbing high mountains or running ridiculous distances. All you need to do is be consistent with some moderate physical activity most days of the week. Exercise at a level that is appropriate for your current fitness level. That may be running 20 miles, or it may be struggling to walk to the end of the driveway. I’ve been in both of those places.
I hope you will stay active and have some fun while I’m gone.