The past fifteen months have certainly been testing but for many of us, we have found time to rethink our lifestyles and make time for exercise. Daily walks became part of the lockdown for so many and still we ensure we get outside for a walk, stretching our legs after many hours sat looking at a computer screen. No longer do we hurry down corridors or across site to our next meeting, instead we sit and click the button that says ‘Join’. Commuting has become a thing of the past for many and no more dashing to catch a train. Step counts have been reduced significantly, hence the need to ensure we get up and go for a walk. However, for those working clinically, walking hurriedly along the maze, in and out of the treatment room, soon clocks up several kilometres a day. As a therapeutic radiographer there is no cause for concern in reaching the recommended 10,000 steps a day! However, getting outside, to enjoy some exercise is important to reduce fatigue and prevent burnout.
Exercise not only improves our health but can also help us improve and maintain good mental wellbeing. As we faced the pandemic, new challenges presented themselves daily or even hourly along with news fatigue, the daily news briefings offering stark statistics, potentially causing additional stress and negative thinking. Whilst we may have joked about being allowed out for a walk, a run, a cycle, these activities are the thing that actually helped ensure we had better coping mechanisms during such a crisis. Cancer patients are familiar with dealing with crisis and it is well reported that exercise can hugely benefit them before, during and after treatment. Exercise programmes are now becoming part of the pre and rehabilitation for cancer patients, with the hope that good habits will be hard to break in the months and years beyond treatment.
This month sees the launch of the latest fundraising challenge from Action Radiotherapy. Miles 4 Radiotherapy launched on 1st July, with registration open until 7th July. Therapeutic radiographers, oncologists, medical physicists, industry partners, lecturers, students and patients have been busily forming teams, with over 580 participants (47 teams) already clocking up the miles. The challenge is to cover as many miles as you can until the competition ends on Sunday 3rd October 2021. Each team can be made up of whoever you want and any number of members. There will be prizes for most miles covered and most money raised per team, with competition already building between teams. You can walk, run, cycle, swim – anything – as long as you are moving!
Need some inspiration? Let Jo McNamara, Macmillan Radiotherapy Fellow and Action Radiotherapy Champion share her story as a new runner……
‘Despite being very sporty, I have never been a runner; I was THAT student who used to take ‘a wrong turn’ during cross country!
As an Action Radiotherapy Champion, I really wanted to help raise money for the charity, as I had seen first-hand the amazing impact the charity had on my local radiotherapy services, patients, and colleagues.
So, I took the plunge and signed up for a running event along with some other Action Radiotherapy Champions. It was truly amazing to be part of a team, running together virtually and competing together. It wasn’t until a month into the challenge that I also noticed how better my fitness and mental health was. I was a better mum and wife; I was more productive at work and felt more confident.
I now have all the gear and still not much idea, but I like getting out and about and running or walking and I often share achievements still with my Action Radiotherapy team.
Please do consider signing up to Miles 4 Radiotherapy, it may be life changing! I cannot wait to get my team together and start racking up the miles. See you all on Strava!’
Follow the challenge, support the teams and share your own progress using the #Miles4Radiotherapy on social media. Whilst competition may become fierce we are also a very supportive bunch.
Donations for the Miles 4 Radiotherapy challenge can be made via Just Giving