Monday, April 23, 2012

Exercise for Cancer Patients - Questions Answered

Cancer takes such a heavy toll that exercise is the last thing many cancer patients
want to do when undergoing treatment. Scientists are increasingly finding, however,
that cancer patients receive numerous benefits from regular exercise. Exercise
boosts mood, increases resilience to treatments, and improves recovery rates.
Some patients may wonder which form of exercise offers the greatest advantages,
and how much exercise is too much. Here is some information to help patients get
started receiving the benefits of an exercise program.

What Forms of Exercise Benefit Cancer Patients?
Aerobic exercise is probably the most common form of exercise practiced, and
ranges from mild to very intense. This means it is great for cancer patients because
they can choose the level of activity that matches their energy levels. At the intense
end of the aerobic spectrum is running, which is too heavy for many people to begin
with. Walking, on the other hand, is a very effective exercise that is also gentle on
the body. Recent studies have found that breast cancer patients have better survival
rates when they engage in regular exercise during treatment. Since aerobic exercise
increases oxygen exchange in the lungs, it benefits patients receiving mesothelioma
treatment. Walking for just 15-20 minutes a day can give patients huge boosts in
energy and vitality.

Strength training is another excellent option for cancer patients but should be started
slowly because of its intensity. This form of exercise boosts mood, energy, and
strength by increasing the body's levels of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Strength training has also been found to significantly reduce side effects of cancer
treatments. Cancer patients can begin with milder exercises, such as light
bodyweight movements, and work up to more intense sessions using weights as
they become stronger.

What Type of Routine is Best?

When anyone is starting an exercise regimen, it's important to take things slow and
listen to one's body to maximize benefits and reduce the risk of overtraining. No
matter how long one has been training, however, rest periods remain essential to
success. Many people are able to engage in mild exercise such as walking on a
daily basis, but most people should take rest periods of a few days between intense
workouts. After training regularly for awhile, some individuals are able to engage in
strength training on a more frequent basis as long as they are not using very heavy
weights. Training too often and resting too little can cause a condition called
overtraining whose symptoms include fatigue and immune suppression, both of
which could be hazardous to people with cancer.

Engaging in regular exercise is one of the best things cancer patients can do to
support positive thinking and mood, reduce treatment side effects, and improve
chances of recovery. It is also essential for patients in remission, whose chances of relapse are sharply reduced by regular exercise. Cancer patients who want to get
started can get the greatest benefits from exercise by simply listening to their body
and adjusting their regimen as needed.

This post was submitted by an anonymous guest writer. Thank you, anonymous!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas and New Years!

Some of you may have noticed that there has been a distinct lack of posts over the past week, and there is a good explanation, I assure you! Over the holidays, I have been predisposed, and we still have New Year's Day coming up this Sunday. Christmas was last Sunday, thus striking out two post days for holiday here on Brighter Earth.

Do not fret, though; the Sunday following New Year's Day will see another post up, as per schedule (hopefully! haha). For now, though, I am afraid you must be content with a "Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!" Have a great holiday, regardless of what it is you celebrate. Hanukkah, Kwanza, Lunar New Year's; it is all a part of the global culture!

Merry holidays, and try to do something good in the spirit of the season. ;D

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Make-A-Wish Foundation

"Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® has given hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. From our humble beginnings with one boy’s wish to be a police officer, we’ve evolved into an organization that grants a child’s wish in the U.S. every 40 minutes."

Today's non-profit feature is about one I have been hoping to review for quite some time now, and really reaches out to a lot of people. While their methods of charity may not be what some consider the best, it is definitely at least creative and inspiring.

Just about everyone knows how Make-A-Wish Foundation works, at it's most basic structure: a kid gets terminally ill, and the foundation uses donation money to grant the wish of the child. It is fairly simple, and sometimes even narrow-minded, but it does give the kid one last chance to do what he or she has always wanted to do.

First off, the child that has been terminally diagnosed must be referred to the foundation. Parents, other children, and the medical professionals involved with that child can refer someone they think is eligible to have their wish granted. "Between 2½ and 18 years of age at the time of the referral," and, "have never received a wish from another similar organization," are the two requirements.

Next, the child is then determined to be either medically eligible, or not. Life threatening conditions are a must for any approved submissions. Then, volunteers try to figure out what it is exactly the child wants, and finally, they do it for that child. They give kids a second chance to do what they want the most.

Check out Make-A-Wish Foundation, and maybe even help a kid out today who just wants to get in a final wish.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

LAMBDA GLBT Community Services

LAMBDA GLBT Community Services
"LAMBDA is a non-profit, gay / lesbian / bisexual / transgender agency dedicated to reducing homophobia, inequality, hate crimes, and discrimination by encouraging self-acceptance, cooperation, and non-violence."

Homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexualism were all, at one time not so long ago, despised by the majority of people in not just the U.S., but throughout the world as well. Though many places around the globe have stepped up their tolerance and even acceptance of differing sexual resolves, the U.S. still remains a threat to the lifestyles so many now live.

Political conservatives, almost exclusively backed by the logic of a specific religion, aim to fight the GLBT community in every way possible, much as they fight all of the other political parties. A refusal to even understand the reality behind the situation continues to put the nation farther and farther behind the other, more progressive nations.

LAMBDA is a secular non-profit that aims to eradicate the stigma attached to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. Much in the same way African Americans and women were restricted and even mistreated, the GLBT community must struggle each and every day for their rights, simply because of their sexual preference.

I, for one, am surprised it is even an issue. As many people have put it, politics should not rule the bedroom. What people do for fun on their own time is their own issue, regardless of the religious belief (and perhaps especially because of religious belief), though many Americans do not seem to grasp that small truth.

The hope is that non-profits like LAMBA can put together a sizable force and argument to bring down all of those people around the world who may seek to do harm to a gay, lesbian, bi, or transgender person because of their sexuality. With any luck, and with your help, they can succeed.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Teens Express

Today's post is about an organization called Teens Express, once known as Songs with Meaning, Inc. (SwM). Teens Express has provided "its program participants with a reliable, secure, and productive environment," for not only academic pursuits, but also for their life and creative skills, since 1998. They utilize practical and artistic workshops to better the youth of the area, as well as the adults charged with the care of those youth.

The Teens Express organization serves all youth in the Washington metro area, specifically in Wards 7 and 8, as well as Prince George's County, Maryland. The participants come from all sorts of ethnic and lifestyle backgrounds, including about 80% of whom are at risk of "not reaching productive adulthood, or falling prey to crime," and "other obstacles to obtaining a degree, or successfully entering the workforce."