Sep 30 2015
Women Unite in the Hope for Health
Today is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, and tomorrow, October 1st, marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Month. So we thought of this time as ideal to reflect on all things pertaining to women’s health such as how to obtain it, how to maintain it, and how to regain it in moments of illness.
In honor of Women’s Health and Fitness Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we reached out to an inspirational member of our Krew, two-time breast cancer survivor and devoted Jazzercise instructor Susan Shofner, for some practical advice.
First diagnosed with breast cancer 19 years ago, then again this past March, Susan understands firsthand what it means to be a fighter. And she has some valuable, day-to-day advice she’d like to share with all those women currently in their own battle with breast cancer or any other life-altering diseases.
Susan’s Health Tips:
- Decide on a course of action. Then get fully on board with your decision. Whether you opt for traditional chemotherapy and radiation, a more holistic approach, or something in between, make the conscious choice to be at peace with your decision in order to best prepare your body and mind for treatment.
- Mind your diet. What you consume has a profound effect on your health. Eating as many whole, real foods as possible will keep your immune system strong and expedite the healing process during treatment and when attempting to cleanse your system post treatment.
- Maintain your normal routine. Carry on with life as usual as much as possible. Keep your work and family commitments. Production is a source of morale and will keep your “head in the game” rather than wrapped up in your own frenzied thoughts consisting of worries and worst case scenarios—most of which never come to pass.
- Keep your passions and hobbies. While it’s important to be gentle on your body and give it the grace it needs, entirely setting aside that which momentarily allows you to feel free of all your worries would be hugely detrimental to your overall health.
- Move your body. Research overwhelmingly indicates that exercising rather than becoming stagnant is crucial. Although your body may be exhausted at times, exercise is proven to stimulate circulation and generate healthy blood flow throughout the entire body to promote optimal healing.
- Create peace within your mind and body. Having cancer makes one reflect on their life, including all the good and bad influences within it and their effects. Susan says making all-around healthier choices will mitigate the negative while making room for the positive—all of which will create a necessary sense of peace within your mind, and as a result, within your body.
- Find a solid support network. Susan accredits surrounding herself with uplifting people in the same boat as her as the single most important factor in getting her through. The individuals by her side kept her positive, reminded her she wasn’t alone, and were there to lend a listening ear or give a much-needed hug. Susan says it can be especially tough for women to reach out and ask for help but states there is nothing more healing than the love of others.
- Learn an attitude of gratitude. Don’t lose sight of what you do have. Gratitude is a powerful thing and promotes positive thinking, which has an effect on every aspect of our beings. Take a breath and sit for a moment with what you do have rather than focus on what you don’t. We really do have so much to be grateful for, starting with the fact that we’re all still here.
What Susan especially wants other women struggling to regain their health to understand, is that cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was. Medicine has progressed exponentially, from earlier detection to a broader range of custom treatment options, to endless sources of information and support. She says that while we will undoubtedly forever honor the memory of those lost, we also need to look at how we are currently rocking the survival rate. And one need not look any further than Susan happily and healthily dancing with over a thousand others at the sold-out Jazzercise Dance for Life event onboard the USS Midway in San Diego, California on Saturday October 3 to know we really are rocking it.
Have any advice you’d like to share with others? We’d love to hear from you!