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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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New fitness help for cancer patients

A former property developer has become the first person in Cumbria to qualify to run an exercise-based rehabilitation programme for cancer patients.

fit 4 life

Jennifer Wilson, 34, formerly of Cockermouth and now living in Stainburn, Workington, is a fitness trainer at the Fit 4 Life gym in Maryport.

She has just completed a level-four cancer and exercise rehabilitation course.

She is one of only three people in Cumbria and the North East with the qualification.

Jennifer, 34, will start exercise classes for those preparing, going through or recently having completed treatment for cancer.

She has been trained by CanRehab, a new programme by Dundee lecturer Dr Anna Campbell.

The programme follows three years of research during which Dr Campbell found that the “rest is best” traditional advice was not as effective as thought.

Instead she discovered that patients built up their strength and their sense of well-being through exercise designed to meet their needs.

Jennifer said that when she discovered this new training was being offered in Glasgow she jumped at the chance to train.

She said: “I have been affected by cancer in my family. It was my aunt who asked if there was anything she could do when she got cancer.

“I have always been keen on health and fitness but I didn’t know what people with cancer could do.”

She gave up her job in property development, trained as a fitness instructor and got a job at the not-for-profit community gym Fit 4 Life.

Can B Fit, the name of the exercise programme, is being endorsed by Macmillan Cancer Support and Breast Cancer charities.

Jennifer said she had spoken to Macmillan nurses, oncologists and oncology nurses at Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital and already had some referrals from them.

She added: “Obviously when people are undergoing treatment we will be looking at gentler exercise, but what I’d like to do is to build up their strength before treatment, helping them through the treatment with gentle exercise and then helping them towards full fitness again.”

For more information, call Fit 4 Life on 01900 814782.

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