walking after breast cancer
Marian Barnick

Marian Barnick

Marian is a Registered Kinesiologist and Movement Therapist teaching clients how to decrease pain and tightness, improve abilities, and feel better both body and mind. Marian's practice focuses on busy high achievers and breast cancer patients.


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Walking is celebrated as an amazing cancer rehab exercise for breast cancer patients.  And breast cancer survivors, thrivers, and patients are told that walking after breast cancer surgery and treatment provides amazing benefits.


But this puts a lot of pressure on patients when they’re unable to meet the recommended 150 minutes of activity each week.  The problem occurs when aches and pains start to creep into the walking routine.  Patients are moving from walking as a way to get around the house to walking as a form of cardio-vascular exercise.  And no one has provided a Movement Screen or Assessment to patients to let them know if they’re safe to walk or if they’re walking properly.


Walking After Breast Cancer

Consider the changes that the body has gone through before a patient decides to put on those sneakers and consider walking after breast cancer as a form of exercise.


Breast cancer patients can receive a variety of treatments including surgery, chemo, and radiation.  There is also ongoing treatment with hormone therapies that may last up to 10 years. And these treatments bring about changes to their bodies.  The body learns to adapt in order to function and compensates in many ways including with movement.


Chemo treatment may bring about peripheral neuropathy and this can affect balance.  Therefore foot placement with a wider stance and shorter stride may be an adaptive way to continue to function.  Weight may have been gained or lost which effects the center of gravity and the way to body moves and adjusts positioning.  Muscle wasting, tight joints, weak core, and stiffness in the shoulder are all going to cause changes to the body.


And these changes are going to become more prevalent when you increase your walking. 


So the message of “Just go for a walk” as a form of breast cancer rehab is not taking into consideration the issues that may preclude so many breast cancer patients, survivors, and thrivers, from doing something that sounds so simple. 


A structured approach to fill The Gap is required so patients know there is solution that will allow them to get back to the activities they love.


By breaking down the activity, such as walking, into its foundational components, it’s easy to discover where each breast cancer patient has deficits and where they need support.


By using the Foundations First Framework, each foundational component is evaluated and patients Level Up towards their goals as they rehabilitate their bodies as needed to achieve their best potential. 


Walking after breast cancer is a powerful form of exercise with amazing benefits for the body and mental health.  But as with anything, doing it ‘right’ is key to longevity and getting all of those benefits.

walking after breast cancer
Help with Pain from Walking After Breast Cancer 1

Marian Barnick

With 25+ years experience, Marian’s passion is teaching clients how to use movement to reach their best potential. 

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