Late 2017, Queensland X-Ray and Toowoomba groups Fit Lab and Blush Cancer Care joined forces in a major partnership to support women undergoing breast cancer treatment through a program titled Fight Back with Fitness.
The Fight Back with Fitness program was developed by highly trained Exercise Physiologists at Fit Lab, overseen by Blush Cancer Care Inc. The 100 participants received the program at no charge, in addition to DEXA Body Composition Scans at Queensland X-Ray, Russell Street in Toowoomba.
The exercise program, specifically tailored to oncology patients is a twelve-week exercise program prescribed by and under the direct supervision of the Exercise Physiologists at the Fit Lab.
Over 12 months on; we caught up with some of the ladies from the first cohort in the program to find out how Fight Back with Fitness has impacted their lives.
“We still train three times a week and have every week, since day one.” Sandra tells us, an original member first group of ladies in the program. “When I was offered this program, I knew this was my opportunity to get my fitness back, but it has given me so much more.”
“Not only did we improve our level of fitness and functioning, our mental health also improved. It was one of the big things that came out of it. We started out as a group of people, and then we became a group.”
The majority of the ladies from the original group are now paying clients and still regularly exercising at The Fit Lab over a year later.
“The exercise was that important for us all, but after the twelve weeks we had our group formed and we also found companionship and support, we didn’t want to give it up.” Delmai explains, another member of the original cohort.
“One of the things with cancer is that it can be very very isolating; the chemo, the radiation, the medication that knocks you around, it can make you really sick. This group and the exercise has changed that” Sandra adds.
The results from the DEXA scans speak for themselves; Delmai increased her muscle mass by 3kgs during the initial 12 weeks.
Kerrie is new to the group this year and unlike the other women who have had undergone treatment for cancer prior to starting the program, she is currently having chemotherapy and started exercising with the group during her first week of treatment. “I approached the group and started exercising the week I started chemo, this is my ninth week. The exercise actually helps heaps; you can lose a lot of your fitness and muscle mass when having chemo, exercising helps retain it as much as possible and just generally makes you feel better,” she shares.
“Not only is exercise importance from the social aspect and to improve their physical and mental health whilst recovering, studies show there is also a significantly reduced risk of re-occurrence of cancer compared to people who are physically inactive*,” explains Exercise Physiologist at The Fit Lab, Steve Nance.
There is no doubt how valuable the ladies have found Fight Back with Fitness on both a clinical and a personal level. The positive effects of physical activity have had a profound effect on them mentally and physically and Queensland X-Ray are proud to have been able to support such a program.