Our goal is to help patients build muscle mass and muscle strength, increase flexibility and endurance, and improve functional ability. Additional goals include reducing the severity of therapy side-effects, preventing unwanted weight changes, and improving energy levels and self esteem. A long-term objective is to help participants develop and maintain their own physical activity programs, which become a vital part of their lives after they have graduated from the LSLW program. Research is now showing that physical activity may decrease recurrence and increase survivorship for cancer patients. Living Strong Living Well is sponsored by the Stanford Health Improvement Program and the YMCA. Certified fitness instructors trained in supportive cancer care work with participants to develop a personalized program.
Where We Are Now
The program was first implemented in the Page Mill YMCA in January 2002. It expanded to ten YMCAs from San Jose to San Mateo, as well as a number of YMCAs through out the country. The LSLW program is also being implemented in other qualified fitness centers.
Why Living Strong Living Well
This program fulfills the important need of the increasing number of cancer survivors who find themselves in that transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to attempt to return to their normal life. The fact that the program is outside a medical facility and integrated into the community serves to emphasize that Living Strong Living Well is about health, not about disease. The positive and enthusiastic feedback that we receive from individuals who have gone through the program shows that this is a significant community program that fills an important, and previously un-addressed, need of cancer patients and survivors.