Monthly Archives: June 2012



100 kilometres at night-time in London … Nightrider!

 4 of us and 3000 others, most of them bombing it fast as they can, while we played the sightseers, wide mouth full of laughter, amazement and flapjack. Started at Crystal Palace at 11.40pm and were thinking about doing it by 6/7ish … well it took us a bit longer; we rolled in around 9ish…But what an adventure!  The route was amazing, really well signed, only managed to get nearly lost once, which is a record for us by any account.. mind you, to get there was a bit of an adventure through a very dark park . Having all of London to ourselves was really surreal and magical; Canary Wharf with all  those sparkling shiny mega spaces.. Annabel was desperately longing for some colour and velvet at that point; Camden Town with all the jolly fellows who were very amused of the sight of two wheels pedalling when the only double usually visible at that time of the night is brought on by the drink . Alexandra Palace, half way point, the view, dawn… crisp, pinkish, smelling cold earth … and then the trickling down to the big landmarks …  but the best thing about it was pedalling with my wonderful mates; all the giggles and swearing of the hills the teas and wees  and the real hero of the night was wonderful Nicol who has never cycled more than 30 kilometres and using gears was only from sight and theory… she was whizzing by the end of it and the gears were clicking furiously.

… and we did it together; it felt good so so very good.

And our treat ….

Well … we thought we needed a treat after roughing it through the night. We booked afternoon tea at the Dorchester. But as we only had an hour’s sleep  we all felt a bit adrenalin fuelled, giggly and delirious. We packed our bags ..god knows how we filled with the car with 1 days supplies, put all 4 bikes back on my battered Zafira,  bits hanging off… and after an hour and a half, some going around roundabouts and a very dubious U turn later (sat nav estimated 42 minutes), we pulled in to the Dorchester and gave the key to the man in the hat who managed not to the snigger in our face. Mind you we were grinning had ear to ear at that point nothing could have stopped us. And it was really really lovely, didn’t feel out of place, we were very well looked after and gave the whole escapade rather enchanted finish.

Fitness and Exercise

Fitness and Exercise

The benefits of fitness and regular exercise have long been documented. These benefits can extend to those either undergoing cancer treatments or survivors trying to prevent cancer from returning. Initial studies linking the positive benefits of fitness and exercise with cancer involved breast cancer patients, but new studies link those benefits to patients with other forms of cancer too. The National Cancer Institute has long extolled the benefits of exercise to prevent cancer, and now endorses a regular fitness routine for cancer survivors as well.
A study conducted by the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada reported a link between high levels of physical activity and the reduced risk of cancer returning in patients who have recovered. Similar studies have linked being overweight to a greater chance of recurrence following successful cancer treatment. Echoing the importance of fitness, the American Cancer Society supports an emphasis on weight control and some form of regular exercise to help patients improve their strength during treatment and when they reach the recovery stage. ACS guidelines for fitness and cancer prevention include the following suggestions*:

• Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of exercise of vigorous intensity per week. It can also be a variation of moderate and vigorous exercise spread throughout the week.

• Children and teens should get at least 60 minutes of some forms of vigorous or moderate exercise per week. This can include any combination of moderate of vigorous activity spread throughout the week. Vigorous activity should be limited to 3 days per week.

• Moderate exercise includes: Walking, bike riding, roller-skating, yoga, ice-skating, dancing, and horseback riding.

• Vigorous exercise includes: Aerobic exercise, aerobic dancing, swimming, running or jogging, jumping rope, and circuit weight training.

*Before starting any fitness or exercise routine, a patient should check with their doctor first to determine if a fitness routine is appropriate. This includes any possible restrictions.

Patients undergoing cancer treatment have reported some benefits regardless of the type of cancer they have. Studies suggest that patients fighting more aggressive cancers such as mesothelioma cancer may have similar benefits seen in those battling lung and breast cancer. Even mild exercise can help the body better tolerate cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and even treatment through surgery or medication. Common side effects of cancer treatments that may be eased by some type of fitness routine include:

• Fatigue
• Nausea and vomiting
• Pain
• Swelling or fluid retention

Patients either undergoing treatment or in the recovery stage don’t have to dramatically change their lifestyle to adopt some type of fitness or exercise plan. Patients can get exercise from doing things they already enjoy doing. Gardening and working in the yard, for example, can count as moderate exercise. The same is true for activities associated with work such as lifting boxes, doing landscaping work, or light janitorial work. Sports can also meet a patient’s exercise needs. Sports such as volleyball, golf, doubles tennis, softball, and baseball fit the moderate exercise category. Soccer, football, ice hockey and singles tennis are generally considered vigorous exercise due to the effort involved.

Even patients that don’t have time to play sports or aren’t able to do certain exercises due to physical limitations can still enjoy some forms of physical activity. Walking up and down the stairs a few times a day or just walking around the block can count as moderate exercise. Even cancer survivors who go back to work can still work in some light exercise by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking over to a co-worker’s desk rather than sending an email. Fitness and exercise in general can be beneficial for just about everyone. The added bonus for cancer patients and survivors just provides another incentive to keep active. Furthermore, it is important to note that a fitness routine is not intended to replace traditional cancer treatments.

by David Haas