Bodies Made to Move

Contributing Writer: Lisa Duscio, Team Inheritance of Hope Coordinator

We looked at the value of balance and nutrition in Self Care Part I. This series is a continuation of the fundamental self-care concepts that are important to everyone’s well-being, whether you have a diagnosis or not. Here we will discuss what follows proper nutrition.

Our bodies were made to move. When we are dealing with a chronic illness, exercise is a good idea because it helps boost our immune system. Toxins are flushed out mainly through our lymph system and stress is better managed. Lungs, heart, and muscles are all strengthened. Blood flow and oxygen are increased.

Depending on your condition, there are different levels of activity. Stretching, cardio, and strength training can all produce great benefits even at small levels. And I hear you are never too old to get started! 

Healthy self-care must always have an exercise component.

There are countless apps and free online information to help educate and get you started.
Here’s an example:

If you have decided to start walking daily and made sure there are no restrictions from your healthcare provider, next determine what time you will walk. Put your shoes on and walk! When you get home, text your friend to tell them what you just accomplished.

You can start by aiming to walk five minutes a day. Increase that slowly to 15 minutes a day. Then eventually try to walk one mile in that 15 minutes. Increase your time to 30 minutes. Then complete two miles in 30 minutes. Add another 15 minutes to do 45 minutes of walking. Now start jogging part of each mile. The concept is to build incrementally. If you develop an interest in running along the way, consider signing up for a race with Team Inheritance of Hope.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists these benefits of physical activity:

  • control your weight
    • reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
    • reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
    • reduce your risk of some cancers
    • strengthen your bones and muscles
    • improve your mental health and mood
    • improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls
    • increase your chances of living longer


Answer these questions:

  1. Do I need to add exercise to my daily routine? 
  2. If so, what am I going to do about it? 
  3. If no, is what I’m doing giving me adequate results?


During the early days of the diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, I used the rebounder 20 minutes each day and walked outside. This helped to move the lymph in my body and strengthened my cardio and breathing. I had to start very slowly because I had a lot of restriction in my upper chest. As I started experiencing less restriction, I was able to run faster on the rebounder and increase my daily time to 30 minutes. I also added swimming five days per week to work the muscles in my shoulders and arms. My right arm is paralyzed from a tumor compressing a nerve, and the water provides a good environment to build motor coordination and strength.

Let's be proactive and get our bodies moving today!