Posts tagged with "breast cancer"

Summer Watson inside 360 MAGAZINE

Premiere: Summer Watson Inspires People To Take Their Masks Off And Show Their Core On New Single “Unveiled” 

The wonderful Classical crossover icon, singer-songwriter Summer Watson, is releasing a much anticipated new single, “Unveiled,” following-up on her previously released song “Break The Silence.” Both singles are off her upcoming album, also titled Unveiled. Summer Watson has graduated from the Royal College of Music, and throughout her education, she has received numerous individual awards and grants. Blending her classical textures with pop sonic constructions, Summer is the first-ever classical artist to sign a £1mln deal with Sony Music, which comes as no extraordinary fact once we listen to her hypnotic and incredibly beautiful voice. This time, Summer Watson is releasing her own music, after singing other artists’ music for years. What radically changed her approach in life is a series of difficulties to face, among which being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. It is noteworthy to mention that she has overcome cancer with natural treatments only, as she refused to undergo chemotherapy. Her warrior spirit and skills to adapt to new situations have helped her become a stronger version of herschel;f than she ever was before. 

Both “Break The Silence” and “Unveiled” are aligned in their purpose and mission; to heal and be true to oneself. She is a lyrical healer, and uses music as a powerful tool of expression to help others overcome and understand what she herself has painfully learned along the way. The LA-based classical crossover star is rapidly and exponentially expanding her fan base this year, with her wisdom, beauty, and charisma simply being mind blowing, and after listening to the first two parts of her upcoming album, we are highly anticipating its release. 

Listen HERE.

Kaelen Felix illustrates article for 360 MAGAZINE

Finding New Light

by Sonya Keshwani, two year breast cancer survivor & founder of StyleEsteem Wardrobe

There are many things no one tells you about getting diagnosed with breast cancer at 29 years old. How you will meet physical limits you didn’t know existed, and then keep pushing beyond them. How your entire identity – past, present and future – will be viewed through the lens of your diagnosis. And how the diagnosis and healing process are much more challenging and tough than pinkwashed TV commercials would have you believe. 

Through all these instances, every cancer patient experiences moments when they have to make a decision to either see themselves as a continuous human being experiencing cancer and healing, or as a new person who is living a second chance life. I saw a third option for myself. I decided that the person who was going to be a “survivor” deserved to wear her challenges as beautiful accomplishments, while also appreciating the fullness of her new life. 

Since a young age, fashion had been a medium for expressing my joy and vibrancy. So when I lost my hair to chemo, I channeled that same approach into the creation of fashionable turbans. Through the lens of beautiful fabrics and patterns, I learned that challenging situations are wrought with beauty and sparkle. I started the shift from seeing my bald head as a symbol of cancer, to seeing myself – my true character and strength – as beyond skin deep.  I went from creating new styles between chemo sessions, to launching a company that empowers women through cancer and hair loss, called StyleEsteem Wardrobe. This company and the mission to help others became my “why” on the path to healing.

One of the greatest blessings of my “why” is how it has enabled me to connect with other profound individuals and organizations on a similar mission – to improve and empower the quality of life for cancer patients. Earlier this year, my “why” brought me to A Silver Lining Foundation gala in Chicago, where I met Twist Out Cancer Advisory Board Member Gudrun Wu Snyder. We instantly connected as she told me about Twist Out Cancer, a place where cancer patients’ stories are turned into inspirational works of art. Their mission and the story of their founder, Jenna Benn Shersher, spoke to me like a glittering beacon of hope, similar to the one that inspired me during the creation of StyleEsteem. Right away, I knew I wanted to get involved, so Gudrun encouraged me to apply to the Brushes with Cancer program. 

When I was selected as an inspiration for the Brushes with Cancer 2020 Chicago cohort, it was an emotional experience for me. Like we are told when we are young “you can be anything you want to be when you grow up”, I similarly told myself this as a cancer patient. That I could be anything through cancer – inspirational, fashionable, fierce and graceful. Two years into my survivorship, what I had told myself in my heart was being amplified by others in my community, and this alone was such a powerful experience for me. 

My pairing with my artist, Sujata Gazder, a talented, intuitive and bold fashion designer, couldn’t have been more perfect. She saw beneath the surface of my diagnosis, into a story of family unity, broken stereotypes, and audacious hope. She saw my diagnosis as a catalyst for taking back control of my joy and my purpose in life. And we both agreed that hair loss was not loss entirely, it was the adornment of something new and beautiful in my life. 

Due to the pandemic, as well as Sujata being based out of Chicago and me being based out of New York, creating the final masterpiece had unique requirements from each of us. Phone catch ups, Zoom fittings, and photo sneak peeks of her work in progress.  The dress beautifully and perfectly honored each element of my survivorship, from my hair journey and attitude, to my family and spiritual roots. I was amazed at how Sujata could create something I so deeply connected with after knowing me for such a short period of time. 

Outside of my experience with Sujata, being part of this cohort has bonded me with countless other individuals who found their own path to beauty through the darkness of diagnosis. I am proud to stand among them as a survivor and a supporter. And I am so grateful for this space where our stories are transformed into inspiring works of art and unforgettable experiences.

Today I look forward to our virtual gala where we will celebrate each other’s stories, and to seeing my gown in person for the first time when I meet Sujata. This process has taught me that diagnosis is like a crystal. Whoever is holding your crystal in their hands can see new beauty, color and light in your story. And when you exercise vulnerability and trust to let that happen, you can find new meaning and purpose in your own path.

Celebrities team up for philanthropic single – “PINK”

Five musical superstars have joined forces in the fight against breast cancer, releasing a new song – “PINK.” The new single features Dolly Parton, Monica, Jordin Sparks, Sara Evans and Rita Wilson – who herself is a breast cancer survivor.

This special collaboration benefits Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization. The song was produced by Victoria Shaw and co-written with Erin Kinsey and Jodi Marr. Victoria Shaw is a singer/songwriter/producer known for iconic hits like Garth Brooks’ “The River,” Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera’s “Nobody Wants to be Lonely,” among a multitude of others with recorded songs for artists such as Faith Hill, Billy Ray Cyrus, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood, Olivia Newton-John, and many more artists.

The song is distributed by Brighter Day Records and available digitally everywhere. PINK features legendary artists from country, pop and R&B. The moving lyrics and vocals provide listeners with hope for a future when no one loses someone they love to breast cancer and “PINK is just another color.”

Each year breast cancer kills more than 42,000 women and men in the U.S. alone. Since 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed at some point in her lifetime, nearly everyone has or will be touched by this disease, whether personally or by someone they love.

“This is such a beautiful song of hope,” said Dolly Parton. “I’m honored to join with these powerful women to help support Susan G. Komen’s life-saving work.”

“Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among African American women! My goal is to change that,” added Monica. “My life and loved ones have been directly impacted by this disease and I want us all to live in a world without breast cancer. Let’s make pink just another color.”

“As a younger woman, I know that breast cancer can still be a possibility,” said Jordin Sparks. “Through all of us working together, we can change the future so that younger generations never have to face breast cancer. This song paints a vision of when that day comes.”

“The song is not just for someone who is a survivor or going through breast cancer treatment, it is for anyone who loves someone who has been impacted by breast cancer,” added Rita Wilson. “That’s what I love about the song.”

“After performing at the Opry Goes Pink last year, I’m thrilled to be supporting Susan G. Komen again this year in a very big way,” said Sara Evans. “There is something magical that happens when women band together to have a positive impact on the world for our sisters and our daughters.”

The song is written by Erin Kinsey, Jodi Marr and Victoria Shaw, produced by Victoria Shaw, distributed by Brighter Day Records and available digitally everywhere. Listen and learn more now.

Komen noted that due to disruptions in health care services and the financial impact caused by the pandemic, Komen’s help is needed now more than ever. As breast cancer patients’ trusted partner, Komen provides support through services such as a free Breast Care Helpline, which provides emotional support in addition to guidance to national and local resources. Komen’s Treatment Assistance Program helps pay for expenses that may serve as a financial barrier to receiving the care patients need to live longer, better lives. And through a combination of research, community health programs and advocacy, Komen is working to support those affected by breast cancer today, while tirelessly searching for tomorrow’s cures.

“In a single moment, a person’s life changes forever – there is life before breast cancer, and life after,” noted Paula Schneider, CEO of Susan G. Komen and a breast cancer survivor. “We are extremely honored that these powerful women have leant their time and talents to help us advance our mission and give a moment of hope to everyone impacted by breast cancer. Together, we will save lives and get closer to a world without breast cancer.”

PINK is distributed by Brighter Day Records. Dolly Parton appears courtesy of Butterfly Records. Monica appears courtesy of MonDeenise Music. Jordin Sparks appears courtesy of Disrupt Group. Sara Evans appears courtesy of Born To Fly Records. Rita Wilson appears courtesy of Sing It Loud Records.

About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in countries worldwide. Komen advocates for patients, drives research breakthroughs, improves access to high-quality care, offers direct patient support and empowers people with trustworthy information. Founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life, Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer today, while tirelessly searching for tomorrow’s cures.

Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.

Breast Cancer Illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there are many ways to support the cause this month. This annual campaign is held to both spread awareness and raise money for the cause. 

The website for the National Breast Cancer Foundation provides many resources to help with this cause. Although things are challenging for everyone this year, this important organization has been fighting for women since 1993 and continues to thrive thanks to its supporters. 

New this year on the foundation’s website anyone is able to designate a donation to one of four specific causes. Donations are being accepted to screening, education, support and the general fund. 

The screening fund allows the National Mammography and Patient Navigation programs to provide free cancer screenings and mammograms to those in need; this helps remove barriers in the cancer care system. By donating to education, more women will be given resources and education to detect breast cancer early and lower their risk. To help women that have been diagnosed, donating to the support services will help them gain resources and support they need to heal. This money goes to funding HOPE Kits, Metastatic Retreats and Support Groups.

If you are unsure which program you would like to donate to, giving to the general fund allows the National Breast Cancer Foundation to designate your donation to the area they believe needs it most. You can even donate in honor or memory of someone in your life that has been impacted by breast cancer. 

The National Breast Cancer Foundation is sharing stories of hope through October. They are sharing stories of hope of survivors and those impacted by breast cancer. Stories and photos can be submitted here. This is a great way to spread hope and positive messages to those struggling with breast cancer and their loved ones. 

Available for download from the foundation is the Breast Problems That Aren’t Breast Cancer ebook. This free resource will help women recognize common problems versus breast problems that need to be looked at by a professional. 

Breast cancer screenings are important for women to get regularly so they can detect problems from the start. The United States Preventive Services recommends women ages 50 to 74 get screened every two years, while women 40 to 49 should talk to their doctor about getting screened sooner if they are at higher risk. Self-examinations are recommended for all women to check that there is no concern. 

The American Cancer Society has been hosting Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for over twenty years. This walk helps fundraise for research and support for breast cancer patients. Even though the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has canceled many events, the walk will still be taking place virtually. Donations are still being accepted and people everywhere will be coming together virtually to support the cause. 

Ways to volunteer with the National Breast Cancer Foundation are being moved virtually as well. This is a great way to give back in October instead of donating. People everywhere are helping to pack HOPE Kits for women in treatment and write encouragement cards to put in the kits. There are many ways to help in the month of October to spread awareness about breast cancer and give hope to those in need.

The non-profit organization, Susan G. Komen for the cure, also supports women with breast cancer and their families. On their website, women can find information, resources and assistance to help them with their journey. Founded in 1982 by Nancy Brinker, is the largest breast cancer organization in America.

Cosmetic Surgery

In 2009, then Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the Donda West Plastic Surgery Law, requiring health checks be conducted prior to all major plastic surgery procedures in the state. This was following the death of rapper Kanye West’s mother. It was later determined that her heart attack was spawned by a combination of numerous postoperative complications and pre-existing coronary artery disease. Today, women especially peruse Instagram and covet a perfect pout, perky derriere and firm breasts seen on Insta models. Just because you may desire cosmetic surgery does not mean you are physically or mentally fit for it NOW. Dr. Stanley Poulos is a board certified San Francisco area plastic surgeon who takes steps to ensure the health and safety of his patients during surgery and post- operatively. Here are some indicators Dr. Poulos looks for to assess patients for surgery.

Dr. Poulos stresses that it is essential for a surgeon to take a good medical history and exam of the patient. Current and past illnesses, especially cardiac or pulmonary problems, surgeries, and medications should all be discussed. Lab tests may be required on a case by case basis depending on patient history and planned procedures.

Urinalysis

When it comes to preparation for a plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure, a urinalysis can inform the doctor if you have certain types of infections, like a urinary tract (UTI), bladder, or kidney infection. Urine tests are also effective in detecting high blood pressure and diabetes.

Blood Count Test

Also known as a complete blood count (CBC), this blood test literally counts your blood. It takes note of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This tells physicians if you’re anemic (red blood cell deficiency) or have a blood clotting disorder like hemophilia. CBC tests also detect infectious bloodborne diseases like HIV or hepatitis.

Heart function

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)

Essentially, the ECG is a medical test that tells if your heart is in good condition through detecting any heart abnormalities by measuring the electrical activity of the heart when it contracts. Cosmetic surgery basically causes tremendous stress on the body, with the heart being one of the most important organs when it comes to stress response. That is why it is crucial for the doctor to assess whether your heart can endure the trauma during the operation.

Chest X-Ray

The Chest X-Ray is also one of the tests that may be required for your procedure. This is usually carried out to check the condition of your lungs and see whether you have breathing difficulties when you are put in anesthesia. This test is especially requested if you are a smoker or have a history of smoking. Signs of pneumonia or any breathing disorder may result to the postponement or cancellation of your surgery.

Smoking Use and History

Mixing nicotine with plastic surgery can result in problems:

Loss of cheek skin, nipples or tummy skin after a facelift, breast lift, breast reduction, or tummy tuck surgery

  • Infections
  • Death of fat cells (fat necrosis), causing hard lumps
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Thick, wide scars
  • Blood clots, which can be fatal
  • Increased pain
  • Permanent small vessel damage adding risk even if you quit
  • Loss of breast implants
  • Life-threatening complications like stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and pneumonia.

Mammogram

The mammogram is typically required for women who want to get breast augmentation or breast lift done. This is to help detect signs of breast cancer.

Psychological Screening

Although there is no formal psych test to assess a patient’s readiness and motives for cosmetic surgery, Dr. Poulos takes time with his patients to learn their reasons for desiring cosmetic change. Immediate red flags include, having surgery to try to keep a wayward spouse, an exaggerated concern over a minor problem, someone who seems addicted to cosmetic surgery, or a patient with body dysmorphic disorder. This syndrome is most appropriately treated by psychological treatment not surgical intervention.

Alcohol Habits

It is important not to drink alcohol before undergoing plastic surgery – or any type of surgery for that matter – as it can cause unforeseen complications and seriously impact final results and the way you heal. Alcohol, especially when consumed to excess, can dry out your skin, which can then result in cracks appearing. If you’re having a plastic surgery procedure where skin is stretched (facelift, breast augmentation or abdominoplasty for example) then dry, cracked skin will make it harder for the surgeon to staple or stich the skin together, resulting in a less than optimum result and possibly scar.

Body Weight

Sometimes patients will enter a plastic surgeon’s office excited about a decision to finally move forward with breast or body contouring surgery, but then afterwards emerge having found out they are not currently a candidate because of excess body fat. This scenario is not only disappointing, but it can be an emotionally deflating and potentially embarrassing experience for patients. Dr. Poulos sympathizes with the emotional pain that such patients feel, and he wants to help them realize their goals. However, there are several specific reasons that your plastic surgeon might recommend weight loss prior to undergoing a procedure. In addition, the results that you can achieve are likely to be much better if your weight is in a better range. Consider an overweight woman who wants breast reduction surgery. Even when the breasts become smaller and more uplifted, it is extremely difficult for us to deal with the fullness lateral to the breasts (the “bra roll”), which significantly compromises the aesthetic result. In addition, it is much harder to get a beautiful transition between the breast and the abdomen due to the excess weight. On the other hand, let’s consider the patient that is overweight and wants a tummy tuck or liposuction. In this instance, the surgeon will not be able to remove all the excess fat in these areas, as it is technically challenging and can look odd as it is out of proportion to the surrounding fatty deposits. Even large volume liposuction cannot fully solve this problem. Body contouring surgery is great for shaping your body, but it is not a method or substitute for weight loss or weight control. At Dr. Poulos’ clinic there is a full-time wellness/weight loss coordinator who helps patients achieve a healthy body composition ( body fat percentage and lean muscle mass balance) prior to undergoing body contour procedures.

What is an option for those who need to lose weight to be a better candidate for cosmetic surgery?

There is an FDA approved “Gastric Balloon” procedure that Dr. Poulos performs. It is appropriate for patients with a BMI of 30 to 40 that have not had previous weight loss surgery. Patients diagnosed with bulimia, binge eating, compulsive overeating, high liquid calorie intake habits or similar eating related psychological disorders are not good candidates. Dr. Poulos has now treated numerous patients who have successfully lost up to 20% of their body weight with the balloon procedures and have gone on to aesthetic body contouring with much improved results.

How does the balloon method work?

This non-surgical outpatient procedure begins with a diagnostic endoscopy to ensure that there are no contraindications and that it is safe to perform. Once the patient is mildly sedated and comfortable, the procedure can begin. The deflated gastric balloon is inserted through the esophagus and into the stomach. A syringe is then used to fill the balloon with a sterile saline solution. Once the weight loss balloon has been filled with saline, it expands to approximately the size of a grapefruit. The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes. Patients can usually return home after the placement or removal procedures within 30 minutes. Over the last 20 years this procedure has helped over 277,000 people. The gastric balloon encourages portion control while patients make healthy changes to diet and lifestyle.

How long does the balloon stay in place?

The balloon remains in the stomach for the first six months after the procedure. With the stomach balloon and Dr. Poulos’ support team, patients usually see the most drastic results in the first six months. It is very important to use this time to develop healthy habits that will continue for not only the 12-month weight loss program, but for the rest of one’s life.

What to expect after the balloon placement

Over the first 14 days after placement, patients may experience nausea or vomiting. Dr. Poulos recommends a liquid diet for his patients during the first week to help manage these symptoms. Also prescribed are effective anti-nausea drugs to help the patient through the initial stage.

How is the balloon removed?

Once the stomach balloon has been in place for six months the balloon is removed. The simple and non-surgical procedure is very similar to the placement process. Once the gastric balloon has been removed, it is very important to continue working closely with Dr. Poulos’ team and coaches to follow the personal diet and exercise plan provided. This will help to keep you in a positive and healthy mindset while achieving your weight loss goals.

About Dr. Stanley Poulos

Dr. Poulos specializes in cosmetic breast surgery and body contouring procedures. He helped pioneer the quick lift facial rejuvenation surgery in California and is recognized as one of the leading plastic surgeons in Marin County and the entire San Francisco Bay area. Dr. Poulos and Plastic Surgery Specialists have extensive experience in body contour procedures. A graduate of the University of Texas Medical School, Dr. Poulos completed his internship and residency at UC San Francisco. He completed a plastic surgery fellowship at St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. www.psspecialists.com

WOODBURY COMMON AGAINST BREAST CANCER

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets announced its Spring 2018 More Than Pink movement in support of Susan G. Komen and the fight against breast cancer. As part of its pledge to donate at least $1 million each year in 2017 and 2018, more than 170 participating Simon Malls®, The Mills® and Premium Outlets® nationwide will once again be participating in a range of fundraising activities during the months of April and May.

 

“We are thrilled to launch our Spring 2018 More Than Pink initiatives and have been overwhelmed by the ongoing positive support this movement has garnered with our shoppers, retailers and employees to support Susan G. Komen in its tireless efforts to reduce breast cancer deaths,” said Enna Allen, Simon’s Vice President of Brand Management.

 

From April 14 to May 20, visitors to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets will be able to participate in several programs to help support Susan G. Komen.

 

Discount Card Program: In exchange for a $10 donation to Susan G. Komen, shoppers will receive a Discount Pass, available at Guest Services, providing 25 percent off one item at participating retailers. More than 100 retailers are taking part in the program, including Diane Von Furstenberg, Adidas, Furla, Dooney & Bourke, Kate Spade, La Perla, Lladro, Maje Paris, Pinko, Theory and Vineyard Vines.

 

All Discount Pass donations go to Susan G. Komen.

 

Race for the Cure®: Race for The Cure® events will take place across the U.S. with local Simon teams participating to support the local Susan G. Komen Affiliates. Simon encourages shoppers to join in by locating and registering for an event near them. Woodbury Common Premium Outlets shoppers can join the Komen North Jersey Race For The Cure to be held on Sunday, May 6, in Jersey City, New Jersey. To register go to http://ww5.komen.org/raceforthecure/

 

About Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

Conveniently accessed from New York City via the New York State Thruway at Exit 16, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets features 240 stores including Tory Burch, Celine, Nike, Bottega Veneta, Polo Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Burberry, Coach, The North Face, and more, all at a savings of 25 percent to 65 percent every day. Market Hall offers a variety of dining opportunities including Chipotle, Pret A Manger, Pinkberry and more.  To learn more, visit http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet/woodbury-common.

About Simon

Simon is a global leader in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations and an S&P 100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE:SPG). Our properties across North America, Europe and Asia provide community gathering places for millions of people every day and generate billions in annual sales. For more information, visit simon.com.

 

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of the federal government while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $956 million in research and provided more than $2.1 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs, serving millions of people in 60 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. That promise has become Komen’s promise to all people facing breast cancer. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.

Art With Purpose

Breast Cancer Awareness pieces that are for millennials, by a millennial!

Marc Thaler began Art with Purpose after he graduated this past December from USC. His mother battled breast cancer, so the cause is close to home. He has raised over $40,000 since the brands’ start.

His pieces are streetwear inspired – hoodies, denim jackets, hats, etc. and 25% of sales go toward breast cancer research at hospitals like, City of Hope, St Johns, Keck School of Medicine at USC and other organizations such as John Wayne Cancer Institute and Phase One Foundation. Marc believes that he is so successful because “young people are into fashionable streetwear, and can afford to buy a piece of clothing, but might never think to write a check to a foundation.”

SAPT WORKS!

October is Depression Awareness Month, and a great time to focus on ways to overcome the blues and keep depression away. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, around 16 million adults each year experience the most common type of depression, which is Major Depressive Disorder. The disorder is characterized by having at least five of the symptoms, in which at least one of them is an overwhelming feeling of sadness or a loss of interest and pleasure in most usual activities. The good news for those who would like to keep depression at bay or who are looking to beat the blues is that they may need look no further than consistently exercising.

“Making exercise a consistent part of your life has some amazing benefits,” explains Coach Sarah Walls, personal trainer and owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc., who is also the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. “Those who engage in exercise regularly feel the difference it can make in one’s life. It can impact everything from how you see yourself to how well you sleep at night. It’s that powerful.”

Before anyone cringes and says they don’t have time to fit in exercising, it’s important to know that even a little bit can go a long way. New research published in the October 2017 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry shares details from a landmark study conducted on nearly 34,000 Norwegians. What researchers found was that even small amounts of exercise can protect against depression, regardless of age or gender. They report that sedentary lifestyles are becoming the norm around the world, and depression rates are growing. What’s more, their research showed that those who don’t exercise at all have a 44% increased chance of developing depression. They found that the mental health benefits of exercise are found within the first hour of exercise each week, showing that even giving an hour per week to exercise does a world of good.

Here are 5 ways exercise helps to beat the blues:

  1. Natural chemicals. When you exercise, your brain releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Those endorphins are a natural opiate-like chemical that acts as a pain reliever, reduces stress, and helps people be able to sleep better.
  2. Clears the mind. Exercising is a great way to help alleviate worries and anxiety. Those who may be worrying about something or having a difficult emotional time can engage in exercise and find they feel a lot better by the time they are done with the session.
  3. New connections. According to Harvard Medical School, exercising spurs the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. This helps to lead to improvements in brain functioning.  The exercising supports nerve cells in the hippocampus, which helps to relieve depression.
  4. Better image. Most people who engage in exercise see a difference in the mirror and in the way their clothes fit, and they like it. The changes they see can be uplifting and give them more confidence.
  5. Weight loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43% of adults with depression are obese, and adults who have depression are more likely to be obese. Exercising regularly helps people lose weight and be able to better maintain a healthy weight.

 “There are so many good reasons to exercise and not one good one to avoid it,” added Coach Walls. “I work with many people and I see the difference that even a little exercise per week can do for them. Get the endorphins flowing and see for yourself how great you start feeling!”

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and there is a connection between breast cancer and depression. According to BreastCancer.org, those who have breast cancer may feel sad or depressed, resulting from the diagnosis, treatment, breast cancer treatments, aging, hormonal changes, or other factors. While they report that sadness is a natural part of breast cancer experience, they offer several tips for helping to address depression, including exercising.

Sarah Walls has over 15 years experience in coaching and personal training. Owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc, founded in 2007, she offers coaching to develop athletes, adult programs, team training, online coaching, and more. She is also the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and has over eight years of experience working as an NCAA D1 strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer. To learn more, visit the site: www.saptstrength.com.

SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc.

Located in Fairfax, Virginia, SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc. is a high performance training club that specializes in helping to develop athletes of all ages. They offer athletic training programs for youth, college students, and amateurs. The company was founded in 2007 by Sarah Walls, a professional strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer with NCAA D1 experience, who is the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA Washington Mystics team. To learn more, visit the site: www.saptstrength.com or www.sarahwalls.com.