Jack Barnathan, B.B.A., D.C., F.A.C.C.
(ISSA) C.F.T., M.F.S., M.S.S., C.E.T., S.S.N.
United States Presidential Certificate of Merit Honoree
Board Member: Magic Happens Foundation
A common challenge for those moving past cancer diagnosis to a positive, lasting treatment is very often fatigue.
Actually, in surveys of cancer patients, it’s often the number one complaint.
Chemo and radiation therapies can create stress on the body with side effects often including loss of appetite, nausea and fatigue.
There are many supports available in approaching this challenge. The one we want to consider today is focused physical activity. I chose that word carefully because the word “fitness” can evoke many images, and not all are positive. Some can be absolutely intimidating and that’s not the “fitness activity,” or “fitness professional” you need.
Research has shown moderate exercise to be very helpful when regularly engaged, with patients reporting 40-40% less fatigue. Engaging in regular exercise strengthens the body in many ways, and although the physical (muscle, aerobic endurance) is most often discussed, mood and focus can also be enhanced tremendously.
And an added benefit is controlling weight, which can also be a powerful factor in cancer prevention and positive treatment, with studies indicating it a powerful help in preventing reoccurrence.
Don’t forget that yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Gong are all forms of “exercise” that can be gentle, focused and fulfilling. Of course research your instructor and find don’t hesitate to discuss (privately) your diagnosis, and treatment so they understand your particular needs. I have personal led certification classes of fitness professionals for two decades and my best students ALWAYS design programs that are carefully presented for their clients specific needs.
There is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to physical activity – especially for the cancer patient.
And only the best fitness professionals will proceed with a special needs client after consulting with your physician, and / or having a written permission with encouragement of programs best for your needs. Don’t proceed without this. I have served legends of sports and fitness and can tell you that the absolute best fitness professionals always understand that peak performance begins with a foundation of safety first. Thank your fitness pro for asking permission to consult with and receive advice from your physician – and I’m certain your doctor will also admire both of your commitment to doing this the right way.
You are now beginning a stage of healing and growth. In some ways, a new beginning with your positive cancer treatment. Careful physical activity can and should be a profoundly supportive and satisfying tool in providing the energy needed to do so with confidence, and new skills for the vibrant life to come.
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Dr. Jack Barnathan is a board member of the Magic Happens Foundation.
Dr. Barnathan began his career as the director of a community Crisis / Drug / Suicide prevention hotline, The ‘We Care’ Center. While studying as a doctor he worked nights as a crisis counselor for Long Beach Hospital’s “NightWatch” Crisis Hotline.
Dr. Barnathan is a multi-award winning sports doctor who has served many of the legends of pro and Olympic sports, as well as an acclaimed speaker who has led workshops for tens of thousands in topics ranging from Wellness, Personal Peak Living, Life-Style Design and Physical Excellence. He has lectured at The Kennedy Space Center’s training facility (with his presentations achieved by NASA for future reference,) The South Lawn of the White House as part of National Physical Fitness & Sports Day, and conceived a National Symposium on Natural Fitness which Arnold Schwarzenegger has served as keynote speaker for each of it’s 25 years.
Dr. Barnathan has advised, and represented at events, Presidents of the United States and their families, among the countless thousands he has served in his career.