What Do Oktoberfest, Breast Cancer, Popcorn and Halloween Have in common?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Popcorn Popping Month, Energy Awareness Month and, of course, Oktoberfest, which is a celebration of German heritage. Seems like summer started only a week ago, but it’s October already! I decided to address all of the above in my article this month, so here’s what’s “new and good” on each of these topics:

Breast Cancer Awareness – Research about a new class of drugs called “PARP inhibitors” is being labeled the most exciting development in cancer research in more than a decade. In my opinion, Cancer has been around way too long and anything that’s labeled “exciting” is good news. According to the results of a clinical trial of 60 patients with breast, ovarian and prostate cancer, published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, some patients whose cancers originally seemed hopeless drastic shrinkage or complete disappearance of tumors. Many avoided one of the nastier side effects – nausea. Wow, my brother Pat would have been delighted to avoid that side effect!

New England Journal of Science does not publish baloney. This study was based on many years of other studies and testing of “PARP inhibitors”, which show the same dramatic reduction of breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. Let’s keep the research going! And for any woman who wants to reduce her risk for breast cancer, here’s a tip I recently learned:

Bend forward slightly, then place your hands under your breasts and “fluff” them. Yes, just like you’d fluff a pillow. This gets all the lymph flowing freely to release toxins from your body, plus, it’s fun, makes you laugh and, after all, laughter is the best medicine!

Popcorn Popping – Well, if you’re one of my students, you’ll recognize this one! My Pilates leg series – which builds lean muscle to burn more calories, is difficult, yes, BUT, there’s nothing better for losing inches from your Butt, Thighs and Hips. And “Popcorn” is a fun exercise – here’s how it’s done:

Lie on your side with your head in hand, up on elbow, or weight on your forearm. Make sure your back is straight and then inhale as you slowly raise your top leg toward the ceiling, then exhale as you lower it down, using your toes to tap the floor in front of your bottom leg twice. Repeat your inhale and slow leg raise and then exhale and tap the floor behind your bottom leg twice. Use slow 5 count inhales and exhales for this exercise and keep your hip still. Only your leg moves and it doesn’t go too far in front or back for the tapping. Complete at least 6 – 8 rounds of popcorn legs on each side and you’ll feel the inches melting away like butter.

Energy Awareness Month – We all take our own personal stand in keeping the planet healthy. My suggestion here would be to combine your own health and the planet’s:

1. Walk or ride your bike to the store or Post office instead of driving your car.
2. Use the stairs instead of elevators when you can.
3. Use a stainless steel refillable water bottle instead of purchasing those plastic bottles – plastic is a petroleum product. Oil is used to make those bottles!