Event promotes exercise in fight against cancer

An organisation that promotes exercise as a way to fight cancer is holding its first fitness event in Kilkenny on July 28.

An organisation that promotes exercise as a way to fight cancer is holding its first fitness event in Kilkenny on July 28.

The group, ChooseToTri, is trying to get the message out that doing 20 units of exercise per week can help fight cancer, based on research highlighted by the Irish Cancer Society.

It is therefore asking local people to take part in a “mini-triathlon” on July 28 in Kilkenny involving a 250-metre swim (the equivalent of 10 lengths), an 18-kilometre cycle and a 3.1-kilometre run. Participants can take part individually or in teams of two or three.

“We need to have people think about it in the same way that they think about smoking and lung cancer,” said June O’Connell, who is helping to organise the event. “That is not to say that if you smoke you will get cancer,” she said, but there is nonetheless a link between the two.

The idea centres on a unit known as the MET, Ms O’Connell said. “Basically a MET is the rate at which our bodies use oxygen while exercising. Think of them like Weight Watchers points; different activities are worth different METs. The charts of Marie Murphy, exercise consultant to the Irish Cancer Society, are on our website and she did a short video especially for us explaining METs.”

“We want to raise awareness around the new science and research that tells us that if you make regular physical exercise a part of your life, and aim to use 20 METs in a week through exercise, then you can push back cancer and its recurrence,” she said. “It is particularly relevant in the case of breast cancer, but also bowel and colon cancers.”

The aim is also to give people an achievable goal that they can sign up for and use as a focus for getting into the habit of regular exercise.

Anyone interested in helping with the event in the run up to the day can contact info@choosetotri.com or 087 6845989.

For more information, see www.choosetotri.com.