Written by Lisa Joerling – Head for the Cure Ambassador and Ganglioglioma Survivor
Benefits to Staying Active
Staying active has been such an important part of my brain tumor journey. Being physically active has been a great way to take care of my body and my mind. 6 years ago, when I had surgery, one nurse told me to take a walk around the block each day just to get outside and get moving, even if it was just going down the street. As I continued to heal and went back to college, I found I had plenty of opportunities to be active including yoga, gym classes and I found a love for running, specifically 5Ks. This was especially great when I discovered Head for the Cure the following year.
How I Stay Active
I’ve been able to find a great gym with a fantastic community of people, and my gym instructor is an awesome motivator and helps to push me to be my best. Staying active can look like many things. I enjoy challenging myself with different classes including yoga, barre, Zumba, cycling and most recently I have done some strength training/weight classes. I enjoy playing tennis and walking my dog or going on a run. The biggest challenge I have in staying fit is eating a healthier diet. My gym instructor always says you can’t out work a bad diet, so I try and eat nutritious foods and stay hydrated each day. I also use technology to help me stay fit. My Fitbit helps track my steps, sleep, heart rate and amount of days I exercise. I sync it with a calorie tracking app to track my food and nutrients.
Staying Motivated to Stay Active
I certainly have days where I am too tired to workout, having a headache, or my nerve pain is flaring up. I have worked on being patient with what my body needs each day and some days rest is the best thing to help me feel better. Treatment and fatigue can also make staying active a challenge. Going on a walk, doing chores around the house, gardening, playing with dogs and children can all be great low impact activities. Finding activities you enjoy and finding a workout buddy can help you stay active wherever you are in your brain tumor journey. We don’t have control over a lot when it comes to brain tumors, but we can control how we treat our body and try and be our best self each day.