Best Spring Workouts to Stay Fit and Energized

woman-working-outWhen the chills of winter finally recede (and we start to remember that bathing suit season is just around the corner), the thought of working out becomes more appealing than it’s been for months. Here are some ways to take advantage of longer, warmer days to build fitness habits that will keep you healthier all year long.

  • Ride your bike. Whether you cycle on a nearby trail or pedal to run errands, biking is a great way to get exercise, spend time outside, and save money on gas. For added enjoyment, recruit a friend or two to ride with you.
  • Take a hike. Walking through the woods connects you with all the beauty of spring and lets you get away from the stresses of civilization. Kick the health level up a notch by combining a hike with a hunt for morel mushrooms and other edible spring blossoms (but be sure to double check the identity of everything you pick before eating!)
  • Go for a swim. True, it’s not warm enough in most of the country to swim outdoors yet, but warmer temps make indoor pools seem much more appealing than they did during the depths of winter. Bonus: find an indoor pool with diving boards, and you can make it a family event.
  • Help your garden grow. Vigorous gardening (such as preparing ground for spring planting) lets you work up a sweat for a bigger purpose. There’s no motivation to get active than thinking about the crop of succulent tomatoes that awaits you in a few months!
  • Mow the lawn. Powerless mowers provide the best workout, but even gas-powered push mowers let you work up a sweat while exercising most major muscle groups.
  • Hit the net. Call a friend for a game of tennis or set up a net in your backyard for volleyball or badminton. Lawn games are a great addition to springtime barbecues because they offer a non-eating, non-drinking way to interact with others.
  • Wash your car. Scrub away the caked pollen and get your heart rate up in the process.
  • Play a game of pickup. Basketball, soccer, softball—any game that lets you run around outside without feeling foolish is okay in our book. And don’t feel as if you have to recruit two full teams—one-on-one matchups are possible in almost any sport!

Exercise is one of the easiest and most important ways to maintain your health after breast cancer or to lower your chances of developing cancer and other diseases, so head outside and enjoy the season!


Eat with the Season for Better Health

seasonal fruitOnce upon a time, before refrigerated trucks and supermarkets, people ate according to what was grown nearby in any given season (or according to what they’d thought to preserve during the previous months).

While today’s agricultural and supermarket industries offer us many more choices in how and what we can eat, doing things the old-fashioned way comes with a number of health benefits. Here’s why you can do your body a huge favor by adding more local, seasonal produce to your diet.

  • Higher nutrient content. Produce has its highest nutritional value at peak ripeness, and starts losing that value as soon as it’s harvested. Many fruits and vegetables [link to ] destined to be shipped long distances are picked before they achieve optimum ripeness and lose nutrients during the long shipment process (and while they sit on your shelves). Eating locally and in season lets you avoid both problems and enjoy more of the nutrients that protect against breast cancer [link to] and other diseases.
  • Better taste. The fresher produce is, the better it tastes. It’s as simple as that. If you’re unfamiliar with the various offerings at your local farmer’s market, you can enjoy an assortment of tantalizing flavors by researching recipes designed for the vegetables and fruits available to you. Or ask the people you buy produce from: chances are, they’ll have plenty of ideas for enjoying the season’s freshest offerings.
  • Smaller carbon footprint. The less distance food travels, the less gasoline is required to get it from the field to your mouth. This creates a greener, healthier planet for everyone.
  • Better prices. When a crop is ripe, farmers have to harvest it and sell it before it goes bad. This means that prices will be lower for you—it’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Take advantage of your favorite food’s peak seasons by learning to preserve batches of whatever you want to eat when the season has passed.

Eating a diet rich in plant-based foods has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to prevent cancer of all kinds. Treat your body right by indulging in the delicacies blooming outside your doorway, and enjoy the rich flavors and high quality of life that brings you!


Top Foods to Help Fight Cancer

cancer fighting foodsHippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.” As Charleston breast surgeons,  we know that eating the right foods is a powerful weapon in your cancer-fighting and cancer-preventing arsenal. Here are four groups of foods you should include in your diet daily.


Berries of all types not only nourish your body, but also help cancer treatments work. They contain ellagic acid, a substance that helps your body fight cancer. They also help to inhibit cancer growth. Eat a variety of berries to get the full range of nutrients, including cherries, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

Yellow, red, and orange fruits and vegetables

This food group, the carotenoids, gives your body powerful compounds such as lutein and lycopene to help your body attack cancer cells. These foods come in a variety of colors, which means they contain a wide range of nutrients.

Green tea

Green tea is full of antioxidants and reduces cancer cell growth and spread. Like berries, it acts as a helper for cancer treatment, specifically radiation.


Flaxseed is rich in magnesium, copper, thiamine, fiber, alpha-linolenic acid, and tocopherols. It helps your blood carry oxygen throughout the body. Oxygen is a natural enemy of cancer. For more info the benefits of flaxseed, check out this article or check out this video below.

Sprouts and dark leafy greens

These delicious salad fixings boost your immune system and give you antioxidants to fight cancer. Chlorophyll helps your body stay healthy, and these foods are full of enzymes that contribute to detoxification.

Cruciferous vegetables

Years ago, the comedian George Carlin had a joke about broccoli and cauliflower killing cancer. It turns out he was correct: cruciferous vegetables, which also include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, chard, and collard greens, help fight cancer. Their potent anticancer nutrients not only aid the body in killing existing cancer, but they also stop precancerous cells from progressing.


Strong-flavored herbs such as turmeric, mint, ginger, rosemary, and oregano flood your body with anti-inflammatory compounds that inhibit cancer growth. They also increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment and block the spread of cancer.

To receive the full effect of these foods, eat them regularly in generous amounts. The more you eat, the more effective your fight against cancer will be. Eat organic foods as much as possible, and drink plenty of filtered water.


6 Ways to Soothe Sore & Aching Muscles

Most active people don’t mind a little muscle soreness after intense workouts —after all, sore muscles are the evidence that our bodies are working hard enough to attain new levels of fitness and help us prevent diseases like breast cancer. But after a while, it’s perfectly normal to want some relief.

Here’s the six-part formula to soothing your aching muscles.

  • Stretch it out. Within a few minutes of finishing an intense workout, spend about ten minutes stretching your muscles. Lengthening warm muscles post-workout helps flush out lactic acid (the stuff that makes you sore the next day). A good stretch will also reduce stiffness and overall soreness, but make sure your muscles are warm. Stretching cold muscles can cause strains and tears.
  • Go for the cold. Take advantage of your sweaty post-workout state to enjoy an ice bath (or an icepack or a few minutes of cold water in the shower). Exercise researchers have found that applying cold in the period immediately following a workout constricts blood vessels, which prevents swelling and inflammation. Plus, as your body heats up after the chill, your circulation will automatically improve.
  • Apply heat. After the first day, heat can help ease muscles soreness by relaxing your muscles and stimulating blood flow to heal the small tears in muscle fibers. Even if you don’t have access to a sauna or hot tub, a hot shower, a soak in the bathtub, or a heat pack can help you achieve the desired results.
  • Get a massage. What better way to relieve tension, pain, and inflammation than by getting a massage? If you’re not comfortable stripping for a professional massage (or if you can’t afford regular visits to the masseuse), enlist a friend’s help or do it yourself with a foam roller, a massage stick, or a massage chair.
  • Rest. Our bodies are pretty good about telling us when we’ve overdone it. Listen to your sore muscles and slow down for a few days so you can heal. But don’t become a total couch potato: light movement (such as low-impact cardio or yoga) improves circulation and helps your body recover.
  • Pop a pill. If you’re still in pain after trying everything you can think of, go ahead and take an anti-inflammatory pain killer such as ibuprofen. But if you’re still sore after several days, consult your doctor to make sure you aren’t seriously injured!