The 2011 Champions of Health and Fitness
Pages in this Story:
- America's Doctor: Regina Benjamin, MD
- Compassionate Medicine: Roseanna Means, MD
- The Wheel Deal: Chris Carney
- Budding Genius: Donna Cavato
- Tough-Love Trainer: Jillian Michaels
- Healing Force: Kathryn Schmitz, PhD
- Class Act: John Skretta
- Action Heroine: Jessica Biel
- Social Networker: Chris Downie
- Food Revolutionary: Jamie Oliver
Healing Force: Kathryn Schmitz, PhD
By Lisa Haney
For cancer patients the medical advice about exercise used to be: Rest. Don't push yourself. Now, thanks to an international team of experts led by Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has issued guidelines strongly endorsing exercise for cancer patients and survivors and begun certifying specialized cancer exercise trainers. A pioneer who has been researching the benefits of strength training for breast cancer survivors for more than a decade, Schmitz, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, says exercise improves quality of life and empowers women to reconnect with their bodies. "We're seeing physiological changes," she says, including improved strength and fitness, stronger bones, and decreased fatigue. Still, many oncologists are too focused on treating cancer to prescribe exercise. "The only way that cancer patients are going to get it is by demanding that their physicians give them access to it," Schmitz says. "The ACSM recommendations are a key first step in providing doctors with guidance and support."
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