Exercise Program Thrives Through Komen Funding

This January, a group of breast cancer survivors will come together to exercise, learn and above all, support one another through their breast cancer journey. They’ll join the ranks of 300 other women who have gone before them through the Mt. Carmel Exercise Program, which organizes the free 6-week program for up to 12 breast cancer survivors, regardless of when they went through breast cancer.

The program has evolved since it began in 2002, but currently features three classes a week, with some form of cardiovascular exercise featured in every session.  A different type of exercise is featured every week, including focuses on range of motion, flexibility, strengthening, balance and the final week is used as a warp-up and to set goals for the future.

At the beginning of the program, each woman, after receiving permission from her doctor to participate, takes a functional or exercise tolerance test to determine her specific exercise path.

While the program takes place at Mt. Carmel, breast cancer survivors from any hospital system are accepted.

A nurse and exercise physiologist are on-hand for every session and able to provide instruction and individual support to all participants. The class is typically held Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and a different educational topic is discussed each week.

While it’s not a formal support group, there is time for discussion about any number of issues that breast cancer survivors may face. The following topics are discussed throughout the six-week program:

  1. Fundamentals of exercise
  2. Diet
  3. Lymphedema
  4. Yoga
  5. Menopause and changes in sexuality
  6. Treatment methods and trials available

In addition to an overall session with the dietician, each participant will meet individually with a dietician.

The program, funded by Komen Columbus and through your donations and Race for the Cure participation, can offer all survivors improvement in range of motion, increase in energy level and bone mass, information on ongoing issues for survivors and the opportunity to form friendships with other breast cancer survivors.

If you’re interested in being a part of this class, contact Amanda Putnam, exercise physiologist and program coordinator, at 614-234-4006.