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Entries in cancer (22)


IHRSA and the American Cancer Society Talk Healthy Eating and Active Living

Last week, more than 60 experts on nutrition, physical activity, and cancer advocacy met on Capitol Hill to discuss the effect that healthy lifestyle practices such as regular exercise and a healthy diet play in preventing and treating various forms of cancer.

The “Nutrition and Physical Activity Interventions for Cancer Prevention, Treatment, and Survivorship” seminar, co-convened by IHRSA, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), provided evidence-based community initiatives to reduce cancer risk and recurrence, increase quality of life, and improve cancer outcomes and overall health.  

The health club industry is increasingly involved in the connection between physical activity and cancer survivorship. In her opening remarks, Helen Durkin, IHRSA’s Executive Vice President of Public Policy, credited Julie Main with making this important connection. Main was a former IHRSA board member who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993. During her treatment, Main stressed the importance of exercise as a solution to staying healthy. She later started the Cancer Well-fit program to help cancer survivors regain control of their health.

This program inspired many health clubs to start offering similar programming. During a panel highlighting some of these best practice approaches, Radka Willson, IHRSA member and past Julie Main Leader award recipient, spoke about her “Back to Life” cancer wellness program. The six-week program aims to help cancer survivors create their own personalized fitness program, lead a healthy lifestyle, and accelerate recovery.

The success of this program has been astounding, and IHRSA’s charitable arm, the IHRSA Foundation, is working toward continuing to bring evidence-based programs like the “Back to Life” program to IHRSA member clubs across the country.  

“IHRSA will continue to build the evidence base and implement best practices and advocacy solutions to help people get active,” said Amy Bantham, IHRSA’s Vice President of Government Relations and Health Promotion. “Collaboration among the nutrition, physical activity and cancer advocate communities is critical, and we look forward to working together to raise awareness and improve health outcomes.” 


Estimating Cancers Caused By Insufficient Physical Activity  

A study in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health used several variables to calculate the number of cancers likely attributed to insufficient physical activity in Australia. Researchers used a formula incorporating the prevalence of physical inactivity, incidence of cancer, and relative risks associated with physical activity and cancer to estimate the proportion that cancer incidence would change, assuming all insufficiently active people increased exercise by 30 minutes per week.

The calculation estimated that 1,804 cases of colon, post-menopausal breast, and endometrial cancer were caused by insufficient physical activity, and if exercise was increased by 30 minutes per week among inactive people, 314 cases of cancer could be prevented. Health clubs provide a safe, fun place for those new to exercise to begin an active habit. 

Olsen CM1,2, Wilson LF1, Nagle CM1,2, Kendall BJ1,3, Bain CJ1,4, Pandeya N1,2, Webb PM1,2, Whiteman DC1,2. Cancers in Australia in 2010 attributable to insufficient physical activity. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2015 Oct;39(5):458-63. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12469.

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Community Exercise Benefits Cancer Survivors

Research has consistently shown that exercise is beneficial for cancer survivors. A study in the journal Physiotherapy Theory and Practice tested the impact of a community based exercise program on physical function, strength, and quality of life in cancer survivors. The program lasted for 12 weeks during which 59 cancer survivors exercised twice weekly in 90 minute training sessions broken into three 30 minute blocks focused on aerobic conditioning, resistance training, and balance.

Results showed that participants improved physical function measures like walking distance in six minutes, leg and chest strength, and reach. Improvements were also noted in physical, emotional, and functional well being. Health clubs are a safe, supportive place to exercise, and several IHRSA health clubs have led the way in offering programs to cancer patients and survivors.

Foley MP1, Barnes VA, Hasson SM. Effects of a community-based multimodal exercise program on physical function and quality of life in cancer survivors: a pilot study. Physiother Theory Pract. 2015 Jan 23:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

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Op-Ed: "Cutting the Fat on Cancer"

Helen Durkin, IHRSA's Executive Vice President of Global Public Policy writes in today's The Hill, stating how important exercise and physical activity is to cancer prevention and treatment, and advocating for policies that create a "culture of wellness".

Helen writes, "For years, the health club industry has been advocating for public policy and legislation that would remove barriers to and incentivize exercise—a key element of primary prevention and a low-cost preventive against many costly chronic diseases, including several types of cancer". And adds, "the concept is this: If we can create a culture of wellness in all segments of society, we can prevent disease; avoid costly and debilitating health care spending; increase productivity in the workplace and competitiveness in the global marketplace; and strengthen our international standing."

Read the full article here... 

Helen Durkin

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Champion for the health club industry. Committed advocate for physical activity, primary prevention, and public policies that promote wellness because it will take more than personal responsibility to get the world active.

This Week in the Fitness Industry: part of brain for exercise motivation found

Image courtesy of ratch0013 at FreeDigitalPhotos.netLooking for some reading this long Labor Day wekeend (OK, for those in the United States)? This Week in the Fitness Industry should take up a small chunk of that time.

As always, a wide range of subjects:

  • part of brain responsible for exercise motivation found in mice
  • workouts in space
  • link between obesity and certain cancers
  • abdominal obesity in youth leveling off

Check them all out in This Week in the Fitness Industry.



Video: How awesome exercise is for cancer survivors

If you read the Health Benefits of Exercise Report, then you know all about the benefits of exercise for those who are struggling with or have survived cancer. This video, featuring Colleen Doyle MS, RD, director of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the American Cancer Society, describes those benefits as well as some information on how cancer and treatment affects the body and considerations for exercising after cancer. 

According to Doyle, "if there's anything we have that's close to a magic bullet for health, it's physical activity."



This Week in the Fitness Industry: 5-9-14

As always, we like to deliver you a wide array of news on the health and fitness industry in This Week in the Fitness Industry. 

We may have outdone ourselves this time around. How about:

  • history of the burpee
  • health club in an airport
  • exercise helping cancer patient
  • rebranding of a popular chain

Read on for more on all This Week in the Fitness Industry entries.


Crunch muscles out cancer with fundraiser

From left: Marc Kamhi, director of Sales and Marketing, Fitness Holdings, LLC; Danielle Gagner, PA-C, Clinical Navigator, White Plains Hospital’s Breast Program; Kellie King, director of Community Outreach, White Plains Hospital; Fred Maudsley, partner, Fitness Holdings, LLC; Brian Vanderveen, director of Operations and partner, Fitness Holdings, LLC; Steve Viscardi, CEO and partner, Fitness Holdings, LLC; and Jessie Hillier, Sales manager, Fitness Holdings, LLC.The Crunch Fitness in White Plains, N.Y., recently presented a $5,000 check to White Plains Hospital Dickstein Cancer Treatment Center. 

The money was raised during Crunch's Outmuscle Cancer campaign which sold T-shirts and donated $5 for every new October membership.

The White Plains Crunch is part of Fitness Holdings, LLC, which owns 42 locations in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

For more on Crunch, visit



Why aren't those who need exercise exercising?

The benefits of exercise are endless - lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes; lowers the death rate in some cancers after diagnosis; helps stimulate the brain; and wards off depression. And that isn't even the complete list.

So, why are the ones who need it not doing it?

A few IHRSA members talked about this, and what their clubs do to get that segment of the population through their doors.

Read the story.


Another reason to 'like' Motionsoft

How cool would it be if you could just "Like" a company's Facebook page and they contributed money to a good cause? Seems pretty easy, huh?

Motionsoft has offered to donate $1 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for every like on The offer is for entire month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

What are you waiting for? "Like" Motionsoft.