Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Workouts: staying warm and safe

Select the Right Clothes

Staying dry is essential.  Clothes specifically designed for cold weather wick away moisture from the body to keep you dry and warmer. For the layer that goes against
your skin look for “moisture wicking” on the label, as well as machine washable materials.  Avoid 100% cotton, it holds sweat and can lead to chills, muscle tightness and discomfort.

Wear Light Layers

Layers are important because if you get too hot, you can take some things off to cool down. Over your long sleeve moisture-wicking shirt, wear a fleece or wool pullover for insulation.  Add an outer layer that will repel water and block wind.

Use Reflective Gear

Since days are shorter, and it might be dark when you work out, make sure to wear easy- to- see colors and other reflective gear that can help drivers see you in the dark. There are reflective vests that are mesh, so as not to add weight and bulk that can be seen hundreds of feet away and offer 360-degree visibility. Flashing lights on bikes are another way to gain more visibility and ensure you can be seen even when you are working out in the dark.

Cover Your Head and Ears

Most heat escapes the body from the head. Hats can keep in heat, but look for hats made with moisture-wicking materials so as not to keep your head too sweaty. Headbands that cover the ears are also a great way to keep your head warm, without getting too sweaty.

Keep Hands and Feet Warm 

Protect your fingers and toes from frost bite.  Wear thin glove that can be layer inside heavier lined gloves or mittens.  Thermal socks are another essential winter workout item.

Indoor Alternatives 

 Be sensible in really nasty weather, do your workout indoors.  This is a great time to cross train and try a new activity.  Many gyms offer memberships on a month-to-month basis, which is a good opportunity to try a new class, start a weight training routine or try a new activity.

Patient Story: Proton Therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Proton Therapy Helped Me Share Moments with My Grandchildren
Kathy Brandt was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in 2011 at her local hospital. After much research, and a recommendation from her brother-in-law, who is a physician, Kathy chose Penn Medicine for her lung cancer treatment, which included proton therapy. Today, Kathy is cancer free. 

You hear the word “cancer” and it's truly terrifying.

It was basically just a checkup with my pulmonologist because I have emphysema. He sent me for a chest X-ray and that is when they found the tumor in my lung. It was a terrifying time and thankfully I had strong family surrounding me - strong family helping me make decisions about what kind of treatment I should have. After that initial diagnosis, when you feel like you have been hit with a ton of bricks, then the decision needs to be made where you are going to seek treatment. My brother-in-law, who is a physician, along with my pulmonologist suggested I go to Penn Medicine for treatment.

Penn Medicine was a wonderful choice for us. They used a team approach.  I saw an oncologist, I saw a surgeon, and the radiologist is all located at Penn Medicine.  It was very comforting to know that all these people are just working to take care of you and to make you better.

I was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer at the end of June.  My surgery was the beginning of August and chemo started in September. It was finished in November.  I started proton therapy in December, which lasted for 4 weeks.

Deciding to Have Proton Therapy at Penn
I decided to go with the proton radiation because of the cancer’s proximity to my heart and spine. I chose proton therapy because I knew it would be more precise and would have less side effects and that was very important to me.

The Proton Therapy Experience
Every day for 5 weeks, I would leave work, come home, and my husband would take me to Penn for proton therapy. After the treatment, we’d go home and I’d spend time with my grandchildren and their parents, who were living with us at the time. My granddaughter was about 3 months old at the time. And I would take her, feed her, and just spend time with the people that meant the most to me.

I really felt wonderful. I continued to work the whole time I had proton therapy – I never missed a day of work, actually. I was a bit more tired than usual, but that was really the only side effect I felt.

When I completed proton therapy, I rang the bell.  Everybody in the waiting room clapped, and we went home and I think I had a very big glass of wine after treatment was finished.

After Proton Therapy
Today, I don’t sweat the small stuff.

I would tell anyone to feel very comfortable going to Penn Medicine, and I would tell anyone to also feel very comfortable in choosing proton therapy simply because of the fewer side effects and its extreme precision.  I would recommend Penn Medicine wholeheartedly.  I cannot say enough good things about my experience.

Learn More About Proton Therapy at Penn Medicine
Proton therapy is a non-invasive, incredibly precise cancer treatment that uses a beam of protons moving at very high speeds to destroy the DNA of cancer cells killing them and preventing them from multiplying.

Unlike conventional radiation that can affect surrounding healthy tissue as it enters the body and targets the tumor, proton therapy’s precise, high dose of radiation is extremely targeted. This targeted precision causes less damage to healthy, surrounding tissue.

Watch the full video of Kathy's experience.

Learn more about proton therapy, or schedule a consultation with a radiation oncologist at Penn Medicine. 

Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine Valley Forge is Now Open

Expert Cancer Care is Now Just Around the Corner 

When faced with a cancer diagnosis, patients and their families deserve the best. As world-renowned experts in cancer care, Penn physicians offer the most advanced treatment options, groundbreaking research and the compassionate care patients and families need before, during and after a cancer diagnosis.

Penn Medicine is pleased to offer residents of the Valley Forge community that same level of care closer to home at the new Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine Valley Forge.

Designed to offer patients the best experience possible, this brand new two-floor and 18-exam room facility features a broad range of cancer services including:
  • Office consultations
  • Second opinions
  • Chemotherapy treatments in a newly designed infusion suite
  • Radiation therapy
  • Laboratory services
  • Access to the latest clinical trials, research, and cutting edge treatments like proton therapy — the most advanced and precise form of radiation therapy in the world

Learn more about the new Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine