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Walking program for cancer survivors begins this week

star.jpgBOONE – Cancer survivors and their families and friends are invited to participate in “Walk with Us,” sponsored by the Be Active-Appalachian Partnership with support from the Cancer Resource Alliance of the Seby Jones Regional Cancer Center, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and Relay for Life of Watauga County.

The walks begin June 25 and are scheduled from 5 to 5:30 p.m. twice weekly: Mondays at Valle Crucis Park, and Thursdays at Boone Greenway Trail (walkers are to meet at the iron gate on Deerfield Road by the Moose Lodge).

The program is open to any cancer survivor with their friends and family members. Walkers may join at any time and participate as often as they choose.

The intent of “Walk with Us” is to provide a scheduled time for survivors to walk together before, during and after their treatment. Walkers will determine their own limits, and can set walking goals and log the number of steps they walk, if they desire.

Some studies have shown that aerobic exercise offers substantial benefits to help relieve fatigue associated with radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Regular exercise can increase a sense of well-being after cancer treatment and can speed recovery.

The American Cancer Society also reports that additional benefits of physical activity include:

Stress reduction

Reduction in depression and anxiety

Better ability to control weight gain associated with certain types of chemotherapy

Pain reduction

Decreased nausea and vomiting

Less difficulty sleeping

Improved quality of life

The Nurses Health Study last year reported that women who walk one to three hours per week after breast cancer diagnosis improve their survival rate by 20 to 50 percent, especially in women who have hormone-responsive tumors.

“Walk with Us” complements existing programs sponsored by the Seby Jones Regional Cancer Center and the Cancer Resource Alliance, including: the Pink Ribbon Program, a Pilates-based exercise class for all breast cancer survivors; and Watauga Wellness Cancer Program, a fitness program for patients actively receiving treatment and those who have gone through treatment within the past year. The program includes spouses and caregivers.

The Be Active-Appalachian Partnership was launched in July 2005 at Appalachian State University. Made possible by a five-year grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and housed in the university’s Institute for Health and Human Services, the partnership formalizes a collaborative relationship between Be Active North Carolina, Inc. and Appalachian. The partnership promotes physical activity and lifelong fitness for the citizens of Western North Carolina.

For more information, contact Be Active-Appalachian Partnership at beactive@appstate.edu or (828)262-7155.

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