To continue with my thoughts from last post, I want to stress again how important it is to begin exercising at an appropriate level. Don't worry, you will get stronger and you will progress, but you have to accept what your current fitness level is and build from there. It can be maddening, especially for those of us who were quite active before, to accept our current limitations. Just remember that this is temporary, it's just a starting point.
If you've had extensive surgery or are extremely deconditioned from treatments, a tough workout for you may seem like nothing to others. The important question is: is this a good workout for you at your current fitness level? Often, with my work at Life-Cise and Stay Fit Stay Strong, I find that people can initially be a little nervous that I'll push them way too hard. I climb mountains, ski, run, windsurf - in fact, I climbed Mt. Rainier just one year after finishing a full year of treatments. Some people are afraid that I'll expect them to do what I do. I always reassure them that I never expect anyone to do what I do, I expect them to do whatever they can do. If someone wants to get back into shape for a big backpacking trip, I'll help them with appropriate exercises. If someone has limited shoulder range of motion, I'll help them increase their range of motion with effective stretches and exercises. If someone wants to be able to play with his grandchildren, but has a hard time getting out of a chair and walking un-aided, I'll work with him to gain the strength he needs to lead a more independent life. Unfortunately, some fitness trainers are not always sensitive enough to the current condition of cancer patients. After an extensive surgery, just doing a straight arm raise with no weight, only using the weight of the arm for resistance, can be enough to begin. What anyone can expect can vary wildly during the course of chemo. or radiation treatments. Trainers need to be sensitive to the changes and work accordingly.
It's a good idea to work with a trainer, but choose wisely. Make sure it's someone who will listen and pay attention to your current limitations, but figure out creative ways to continue to challenge you. If you feel they are not really listening to you about cancer related issues, find another trainer. Just get started! Start now, where you are, and work to progress toward your goals.