OhioHealth helping cancer patients, survivors find strength through exercise


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Most doctors would argue exercise is the key to living a healthy life, but for some people facing medical challenges, exercising could make all the difference.

10TV talked with one woman who explained that it did in the case of her cancer diagnosis.

“Sometimes it’s a new normal, but it’s a normal nevertheless,” said Mary Moore.

It was a “normal” Moore had to find for herself after being diagnoses with breast cancer in 2014.

“My mother was just diagnoses the prior year with breast cancer and I thought, ‘maybe I better get a biopsy,’ and I’m very glad that I did that because I caught the very early stage and that made all the difference in the world,” Moore said.

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But after diagnosis, beyond treatment, there is growth and recovery and Moore learned she could use a hand.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there I think, too,” she said. “Professionals can help you weed through some of that.”

So, Moore turned to OhioHealth.

“One of the main things is that your body is very different during treatment and a lot of people don’t know how they’re going to react to exercise,” said Laura Leach, an OhioHealth clinical exercise physiologist. “All they know is what they did before. And so, a lot of times what people will do is they’ll try to jump back into exercise and try to just do what they did before and that doesn’t work because they’re very fatigued or whether they’ve had a surgery or something or it’s been a while and so one of the most important things that we tell people is that you have to start slow.”

With the help from professionals at OhioHealth, like Laura Leach, Moore could work towards the normal she knows now.

“Even though I did exercise before, there’s a lot I don’t know and there’s a lot I don’t understand so I’ve really leaned heavily on professionals that know better to help me through this journey,” she said. “So I would really emphasize, don’t be afraid to reach out.”

Together, the two work on cardio and strength resistance, and now, Moore explains she will be five years cancer-free this December.

But Leach says exercising through cancer treatments and after can look different for everyone.

“We use the word ‘exercise’ loosely, in that, you know, people think exercise has to be springing on a treadmill and when you’re in treatment, exercise could be a five-minute walk out to your mailbox,” Leach said.

And for Moore, the mental benefits from her exercise also paid off.

“When you see yourself getting stronger, it’s encouraging, and of course I think exercise helps with that,” Moore said.

Find more information on OhioHealth programs dedicated to helping cancer patients and survivors by clicking here.