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  • Nathira Salim

Little Steps

I hate exercise. I hate any form of moving around. The only time where I am happy to move around would be when I go shopping in a mall. I would clock 10500 steps in 2 hours in a mall alone. But not mindful exercise. I just can't do it.

So it is not a surprise I am where I am today. It is not the core reason, but it is one of the many factors of breast cancer - lack of exercise.


According to Dr Kristi Funk, the author of " Breasts, An Owner's Manual", being overweight or obese is the single most preventable contribution to the causation of breast cancer world wide. Obesity and breast cancer risk go hand in hand thanks, in part to estrogen receptors that sit like little antennas on some normal breast cells and about 80 percent of cancel cells. So whenever estrogen lands in the receptor, it sends signals inside the cell that make cancer multiply and divide. Excess estrogen is a risk factor for estrogen - positive breast cancer. Thats what I have.


Physical activity makes estrogen level drop. In addition to reducing body weight and circulating levels of sex hormones, exercise reduces insulin resistance that adversely affects the immune system and stoke the cancel cell microenvironment.


Other advantages of exercise include decreased heart disease, lower blood pressure, less type 2 diabetes, happier mood, sounder sleep, improved bone health, decreased fatigue, increased endurance and reduced stress.


For overall health benefit, we should do 300 mins ( 5 hours) of moderate intensive aerobic activity or 150 minutes which is about 22 mins a day of vigorous super sweaty activity each week. Add muscle strengthening activities two or more days a week as well as push up and pull ups.


After my surgery I resolved to at least be active by walking around the house for a while. But I underestimated recovery after surgery. I get so exhausted by just walking around the living room maybe because of the pain on both my sides. So I thought, well I am dying anyways. Why do I bother so much. I decided to take slow small steps. One step at a time. 3 weeks post surgery, my mum started nagging at me to get out of the house and walk. So this week, I followed hubby for.a night walk. I guess, I need to start somewhere. I felt great after the walk - due to the endorphins and all. The first night we walked we clocked in some 3.26 kilometres over a time of 49 minutes. I found that too slow a walk.


2nd day I went out on my own. I clocked 4.29km in 57mins. Good job Hira! You are getting there. At this rate, you can even compete for Olympics for slow walk or something. Prep talk to myself.


Let me start with walking today. I have plans to start yoga and practice it since it incorporates lots of stretching and mindful breathing. Lots of breathing exercise is really good for the body intended to add in. more oxygen to the cells inside. Cancer cells hate oxygen it seems.


Since it has been raining for a couple of days now, Singapore looks like London in terms of the sky colour - grey and all. So walking has been fun. The landscape looks more green and contrasted in colour compared to sunny days. They say look at the flowers and appreciate life. I looked at all the greens today because I had to hide my non-mask wearing face somewhere.








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