Fitness tips to help you get moving
Several types of cancers, including colon, breast and endometrial, are linked to obesity or being overweight. But adding exercise to your day can help you reduce your cancer risk.
Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight and lower your cancer risk. Several types of cancers, including colon, breast and endometrial, are linked to obesity or being overweight.
It can be a challenge to start an exercise routine if you are not active or haven't been active in a long time.
And if you do exercise regularly, finding new ways to stay motivated and enthused is important, so you don't lose interest and quit.
These fitness tips from Whittney Thoman, exercise physiologist at MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center, can help you start and stay moving.
Work out with a friend
Inviting a friend – or group of friends – to work out with you is a great way to stick with a routine.
“It provides accountability,” Thoman says. “You might skip the gym on your own, but you’re less likely to cancel on a friend. Plus, it’s more fun.”
Social support isn’t the only benefit of working out with a group. Working out with others is often safer, too.
Pick something you like
“Working out doesn’t always have to feel like work,” Thoman says.
While it’s important to incorporate both cardiovascular workouts and strength training, it’s OK to do the workouts you prefer. If you don’t like running, try another activity like, Zumba.
“If you like an activity, you’re more likely to keep doing it,” Thoman says.
Build a schedule
Working out at the same time every day can help you stick with a routine. While this may not be an option for everyone, Thoman says she has seen this type of schedule work for many people.
“If you start working out every morning, then it just becomes a habit,” she says.
Working out doesn’t always have to feel like work.
Setting goals allows you to see your own progress and encourages you to keep going.
“Having a goal gives you something to work to,” Thoman says. “It’s all about accountability.”
For example, don’t just decide to start running. Sign up for a 5K race, so you’re encouraged to keep training.
“And hopefully, meeting your goal will encourage you to set new goals and keep going,” Thoman says.
Set yourself up for success so it’s harder to skip your workout. If you’re working out in the morning, set your clothes out the night before. If you’re heading to the gym later, pack a bag and bring a snack.
“We all get so busy,” Thoman says. “This makes working out a little easier, especially during stressful times.”
Get it done in minutes
Sticking to a specific schedule might not work for everyone, especially if you’re busy.
“Don’t feel bad about breaking your workouts up if you need to,” Thoman says. “For example, do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at lunch, if you only have a little time. It still counts as activity.”
The important thing is to just get moving.
Request an appointment at MD Anderson's Lyda Hill Cancer Prevention Center online or call 888-774-3020.