How to increase energy, endurance?

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Question from Susan: I am seven months out of treatment. I received four treatments of chemotherapy and six-and-a-half weeks of radiation. While I am doing somewhat better with fatigue, I am still not back to a more normal energy level. I am exercising three to five times weekly and take some vitamins. Is there anything more I can do to increase my energy and endurance?
Answers - Su Kenderdine I'd say be a little gentler on yourself. I think that you are probably pushing a little hard. I would keep it to three times a week max and I would see that energy comes from rest as well as from physical exertion. Seven months is not a long time for a lot of us after treatment. I think the one gift I've had from breast cancer is I never made myself go back to the same level of pushing as before, so maybe be a little gentler.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. There are a lot of ways to get moving again in gentle ways. Yoga classes can be really wonderful at building up concentration, flexibility, tone, balance, as well as strength. Tae Kwon Do is also a dance-like form of exercise that has a meditative quality to it.

Walking alone or with a friend can also be very pleasant. Pick a nice place to walk. Stop along the way and rest if necessary. During the time that you're not feeling like yourself, be careful. Safety can be a key issue. When you're not feeling strong and in balance, you may be likely to fall when you try to build up your activity level. So don't move too fast, no sudden changes in direction, wear good shoes with a good grip on the road, don't run up or down the stairs, don't store things on the side of the stairs that you could fall over. Make sure your rugs have a smooth transition on the floor so you don't trip and fall.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Sleep or Sex? You Can Have Both! featured Carroll Kenderdine, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how to maintain sexual intimacy during and after treatment, what to do for loss of libido and vaginal dryness, ways to reduce the fatigue related to breast cancer, and more.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in May 2004.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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