NACES - MW Leaf "Body"
MW Leaf "Body": Physical Health Benefits of "Normal" Weight

Medicine WheelSpritualPhysicalEmotionalMental

Physical Activity Introduction. Daily physical activity helps the body in many different ways. This is true for all people. Movement of our arms and legs helps the heart, lungs and bones get stronger. It helps body organs and systems to work more efficiently. It helps get rid of body waste. It makes the brain function better. It improves balance. So, find some type of movement and activity that you find enjoyable. Walking with your family? Walking while listening to music or books or praying? Gardening? Dancing? Playing games like basketball? All are good for you. But do something. Do it every day. Doesn't have to be the same activity. Mix it up. Do it alone! Do it with family or friends! But add some type of activity. See which ones you enjoy that make you breathe harder. Find some type of "play" ... sitting on a swing in the park and swinging? Sure. Why not! Start with something small and not too difficult. But, find something you can imagine yourself doing for a lot of years of feeling happy, good and strong again.

Kenneth Lone Elk important to do activity

Caroline Shubert - Physical Activity

Scott Walz
Physical Activity during treatment

CeCe Whitewolf, JD
Physical Activity

CeCe Whitewolf, JD
Physical Activity

CeCe Whitewolf, JD
Physical Activity

CeCe Whitewolf, JD Confederated Tribes of Umatilla and Nez Perce Dx breast cancer 1998; stage 3

  • Physical Activity Reduces:
    • Heart disease risk
    • Diabetes / insulin problems
    • Blood pressure
    • LDL ("bad" cholesterol) & triglycerides
    • Increases HDL ("good" cholesterol)
    • Severity of sleep problems
    • Degenerative joint symptoms
    • Female reproductive problems
    • Stress
  • Physical Health Benefits of Daily Physical Activity
    • Improves the efficiency of how your body works (hormones, rid of wastes)
    • Protects and builds lean bodies
    • Improves your mind, emotions, spirit / health (the "mind", "emotion" and "spirit" parts of the Medicine Wheel all mixed together in a good way)
    • Reduces risk of chronic / long-term diseases and causes of death
    • Delays the aging processes
    • List of additional Improvements from the American Cancer Society :
      • Improves balance
      • Strengthen muscles, or keep them from weakening
      • Lower the risk of heart disease
      • Lessen the risk bones will weaken
      • Lessen the risk of blood clots
      • Lessen dependence on others to perform daily tasks
      • Improve self-esteem and lower risk of anxiety and depression (the "emotion" part of the Medicine Wheel)
      • Lessen nausea
      • Lessen fatigue
      • Help control weight - Note that weight gain is a side effect for many breast cancer patients.
  • Normal body weight
    • Body mass index, or BMI, is a way to help you figure out if you are at a healthy weight for your height. BMI is a number based on your weight and height. It is an estimate only. Many conditions can affect BMI, such as someone who has a lot of muscle rather than a lot of fat tissue in the body will weigh more but is actually in better health. Many times during cancer treatment, you will lose muscle because you do not feel well enough to take part in normal activities. BMI can under-estimate body fat when you have lost muscle.
    • A good web site to help you calculate BMI is from the National Institutes of Health, Heart, Lung and Blood institute:
    • The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases. These include diseases like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones and breathing problems
    • To use the BMI table below, find the appropriate height in the left-hand column labeled Height. Move across to a given weight (in pounds). The number at the top of the column is the BMI at that height and weight. Pounds are rounded off.

  • Waist Circumference is also important
    • If most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips, you're at a higher risk for health problems. This includes cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This risk is greatest if your waist is larger than 35 inches for women or more than 40 inches for men. To correctly measure your waist, stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out.
    • According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the table below shows you a guess for your disease risk

    • So you read this table by looking at BMI in the 1st column, then compare with your waist size. So if Mary has BMI for 33, and her waist size is 35 inches, her risk for diseases like colon cancer or diabetes is high. Exercise can help reduce the size of her waist that also reduces her risks for these diseases.

top of page