EBC-NI, Exercise Beyond Cancer started working with men and women who had a cancer diagnosis just before the start of the Covid pandemic. When in person classes ceased, Pilates and strength and conditioning classes continued on zoom. Led by Keith Bennett (PTI) and Gwyneth Hinds, cancer exercise specialists, these regular sessions are a lifeline to many, especially those who were extremely clinically vulnerable.
Speaking to Clanrye News and Sport Lee said:
“I am absolutely delighted to be one of the directors of Exercise Beyond Cancer NI. Read below to check out more information about why EBC-NI was set up.
It is well established that exercise has many benefits for cancer survivors. It will help reduce the side effects of treatment including fatigue and joint pains as well as improving mental health and general well-being. There is increasing evidence that regular exercise during and after cancer treatment will improve survival for many of the common cancers. With a healthy lifestyle that includes moving more, eating good food and maintaining a healthy weight, cancer survivors can live life well beyond a cancer diagnosis.”
“Several cancer charities provide 12 week programmes of exercise classes but both the treatment and impact of cancer continue for months and years. Many women are now prescribed hormone treatment for 10 years after their diagnosis and can experience fatigue, joint pains, hot flushes and increased risk of osteoporosis. For men with prostate cancer, disease can be managed with anti-androgen treatment for many years but this is associated with fatigue, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, muscle strength and bone density.
EBC-NI was set up to provide ongoing classes in response to those who had benefited for shorter programmes but wanted to continue with regular exercise and Pilates classes with instructors who understood the challenges of cancer.”
“Now that the risks associated with covid are less, EBC-NI are launching two new monthly exercise classes for cancer survivors in addition to weekly zoom sessions. Not only will this allow greater degree of instruction and use of equipment during classes but there will be time for a chat over coffee.”
The Pilates class for women is held the first Wednesday of each month in the Agape Centre on the Lisburn Road, Belfast at 10am and Men Beyond Cancer meets in Glenmore Activity Centre, Hilden at 1.30pm on the first Friday of each month. Gwyneth, in association with MK Pilates, has developed a training course for Pilates teachers to provide greater understanding and knowledge about how Pilates can support cancer survivors. One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer and as exercise professionals, we have an opportunity to support cancer survivors during and after treatment.