everyBODY can Cancer Wellness Challenge - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

everyBODY can Cancer Wellness Challenge

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A wide range of people call the Saint Mary’s Fitness Center their home gym. One group, in particular, is especially inspirational. It is made up of cancer survivors.

"I'm a two-time breast cancer survivor and the first time was 20-years ago,” shares Martha Bechtel.

Ashley Andrews adds, “I was diagnosed with classic Hodgkin Lymphoma Nodular Sclerosing.” They are part of the “everyBODY can” Cancer Wellness Challenge.

"It's based on a point system, so it involves self-care, fitness, nutrition," explained Betsy Miarecki who is a personal trainer and a Cancer Exercise Specialist at Saint Mary’s Fitness Center. Twenty people signed up for the eight-week program developed by cancer exercise specialists.

The goal isn't to lose the most weight, but to make the most significant lifestyle changes. They get points for drinking enough water, sleeping enough, journaling food, eating at least three cups of vegetables a day and, of course, for gaining muscle and losing fat. "We want everyone to have healthy habits. Even the fittest survivor can stand to gain some more muscle,” says Miarecki.

What's most important about this challenge - which falls under the Saint Mary’s Cancer Rehabilitation Program - is that it is tailored specifically to each person. Someone who just had surgery will move differently than someone a year out of treatment. However, they are all striving to live healthier lives - even with some new challenges. Miarecki said, "We decided to do a program like this because a lot of times cancer survivors or people in treatment are on medications that make it hard to lose weight."

Andrews already sees a difference. "Developing the muscle, balance and stability in this program has given me a better sense of control over my life and my cancer."

Bechtel adds that her recovery this time is way different than life after cancer 20-years ago. She credits being around these like-minded survivors for helping her recover. "When you're faced with the big spooky C, it feels like you're alone in the world. You really aren't - here."

The “everyBODY can” Cancer Wellness Challenge ends the first week of April. The winner will receive a dinner/spa package courtesy of the Peppermill. Saint Mary’s Fitness Center has not announced when it will host another challenge, however you can join its Cancer Rehabilitation Program year-round.


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