How I am trying to keep fit

Within my limitations I am trying to keep as fit as I can. At 68 years old I have joined the very local YMCA gym. I have a gym fitness instructor and programme which I follow if I cannot attend classes. I am a Pilates girl and as a side issue it really helps my osteoporosis, I had never realised I had a core and I am working with muscles that haven’t really had to work all my life and getting into positions you would not believe. I also love my Zumba classes, I don’t care what I look like now and I am shaking bits that have never been shaken before. I also go to Body Balance which is a routine to music and a mixture of yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates. I also go to Fit Steps which is a dance workout and a mixture of Ballroom and Latin routines. I get my monies worth and there is also the social side. I wear my Bloodwise tee shirts and they are best advertisement and talking point there could be. I also enjoy walking with my Walkman playing my music and being nosey. What do you do?

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Hi Erica. It’s so nice to see you keeping well and active. Going through blood cancer is bad enough, but keeping as fit as possible keeps you feeling good and helps reduce your chances of other things going wrong in your body-plus it keeps your mind busy too. I’m back training on my indoor cycle trainer and have almost completed an intensive 6 week power building programme. Although i did London to Paris 2 years back, I’ve been off the bike a bit, but now back into it and maybe i’ll Do l2p next year. Keep well.

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Hi @Richcastle , great to hear from you. I certainly agree with everything in your post. When I cannot get to a class I have a gym training programme I can follow. I believe in taking different forms of exercise to help me with my overall fitness. I am very impressed to hear you have almost completed an intensive 6 week power building programme and I await hearing what comes next. I think this site is exciting and really evolving with such a variety of posts. Take care.

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Your post really made me smile! It was so uplifting. I’m a gym girl too and I love the social side of it. My gym buddies were incredible when I got diagnosed, and were so encouraging of me not giving up the gym while I went through treatment, even if I had slowed to the pace of a sloth! I need to get me some bloodwise snd leukaemia awareness t shirts for the gym - what s great place to wear them!

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Hi, I think Gym Buddies are so special because we all come with different lives and stories, but we still have that comradery, yours sound very special.

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It is really nice to have someone to work out with and also motivate you to keep going. What workouts would you guys recommend to do in pairs or in a group?

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I think anything on a bike, rowing machine or treadmill because the equipment tends to be in rows. My main Gym Buddies are in the classes I take like pilates, yoga, body balance and then of course there is my Zumba and fit steps.

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It’s great to see you all motivated to keep fit.
Agree with everyone’s sentiments about doing it with others, it’s much more enjoyable that way.
I went to the gym for about a year, but because it was on my own and I didn’t see any tangible results I lost interest.
My real love is off road cycling and I had found it hard fully enjoy it post treatment due to the GvHD effects which mean I become breathless very quickly. So one hill and that’s it I’m done!
So (as mentioned on posts in other threads) I decided to try fitting an electric motor to my mountain bike, this has transformed my life. I am now able to go out riding for a couple of hours with more physically able friends. You still have to pedal, but the motor gives you a choice of 5 assistance.
I also like taking the dog out for a walk to a local farm that is popular with dog walkers, so you get to chat to other people and enjoy the countryside.

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Hi Nick, your bike seems brilliant with it’s 5 levels of assistance. ‘They’ also say walking is one of the best exercises, especially with your dog, your best friend is a wonderful best talking point. You seem to have wonderful countryside around you.

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I have always loved being outdoors and since being in hospital for 6 months having my treatment I try and be outside as much as possible.
We are lucky living where we do, a nice size town with lovely countryside very close by.
A dog can lift your spirits when you are feeling low and is always pleased to see you.

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Definitely group exercise for me. It stops me giving up half way through a class! If I arrange to meet a gym buddy at the gym then I figure I can’t swerve it! And I need the encouragement at times - when I’m wishing I could do something like the London to Paris bike ride, but realise I just can’t, and that’s tough to admit

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Hello @MissP143,

I am so pleased that you have found a way to get to the gym and even bring someone along to go with you.

It can be difficult for some people to accept a new limitation on their body after treatment or diagnosis. I wondered if you would be interested to share how you have come to terms in accepting your own limitation as this would be hugely valubale for others currently struggling with this?

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I’m not sure I have completely come to terms with it. It depends on the day, and my mood. I’m conscious of my limitations, and they frustrate me at times. Though that’s balanced out by feeling more in tune with my body than ever before in my life. I’m fortunate to have been able to continue exercising and to have not been adversely affected like many. I try to focus on that when I feel frustrated and focus on the fact that I can do exercise, rather than the fact that I can’t quite achieve what I would ideally like to.

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Hi @MissP143 , I agree with everything you say about exercise, I find the fatigue is a great frustration to me. In a class I tend to really concentrate and focus on me and not the others in the class, usually the ones who seem to do pilates movements with such ease and grace. Not words you could use about me. Do you get fatigued?

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Hello @Nickmarks57,

Thank you so much for sharing with us on the forum. We spoke previously about cycling to keep fit. The weather has certainly picked up in February, which is a bit of a shocker. Have you started cycling with the lovely warm weather?

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Hi @JoshuaBloodwise.

I do try to carry on riding throughout the year, the different conditions help to hone different skills.
It has been very cold, wet and muddy over the winter months, so it has been nice to go out in the sun with fewer layers on.
I bought a new bike just before Christmas. Traded in my old mountain bike that I had converted to have electric assistance to get a brand new state of the art electric Mountain Bike. So the design and componentry is superior. With an electric bike you still have to pedal but the motor gives you assistance, which is what I need on the climbs.
I went out for a long ride on Sunday in the Surrey Hills with some friends. That will be my last ride for a couple of weeks as I am going in for minor surgery tomorrow to remove fluid from my left lung. Should help to improve my quality of life, which will be good.

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Hi Nick, please let us all know how you are and your minor surgery goes. I find all medical appointments are tiring and take it out of me and as for the surgery as well, take care of yourself.

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I really love this thread Erica, exercise can be so powerful as a coping mechanism on tough days, even just a walk or a gentle swim.

Have any other members started incorporating exercise into their lives after blood cancer?

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Hi Nick, I was just wondering how you are doing and feeling now and whether you are back on the saddle yet?

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Hi Erica,

Well I’ve been having quite a tough time since the surgery at the end of February.

I had an adverse reaction to the anaesthetic and as a result took a lot of fluid on board. At the same time I had a flare up of GvHD causing all sorts of other issues.

As a result I haven’t been out on the bike since the last weekend of February.

The surgery to put the drain in was successful and I had it removed a couple of months later.

The GvHD has caused issues with my heart, bladder and liver.

This has all meant that my health and fitness has taken a big step backwards and I now starting from a very low base point.

The last thing to hamper my progress was my heart condition that appeared this year, which is Atrial Fibrillation - a high and erratic heart rate. I had a procedure last Friday to reset the rhythm back to normal, which seems to have worked, so I am now planning on trying to get fitter and stronger again. Hoping to get back on the bike, albeit tentatively, soon.

Trying to stay positive.

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