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April is Cancer Control Month

April showers have finally brought us to springtime after a cold winter. Like you, we are always happy for warmer days! We are inspired by your dedication to living a healthy lifestyle year-round. We hope the warmer days find you ready and excited for your favorite outdoor activities and events.

April also brings us to Cancer Control Month. While we cannot control cancer in it's entirety, we can make ourselves strong enough to fight back if and when it affects our life or the life of a loved one. If you are fortunate to know someone who has beat the odds and survived cancer, make April the month you check in with them. Ask if there is anything you can help with and by all means, if they support a cause, support them in their efforts by participating in cancer awareness events!

Insanity is coming to Midtown Crossing! See club postings for information and times.

Free Pilates Reformer session to anyone new to Reformer. See the front desk or contact Nancy Babe nbabe@prairielife.com for details.

Suspension Training plus cardio and high intensity circuit class are held multiple times during the week. Contact Sam Schrader at sschrader@prairielife.com to sign up. Your first class if free!

Welcome spring!

Carrie Hoops

Cancer Control Month

Perhaps, two of the most difficult words to ever hear are: "incurable cancer." A fellow fitness friend told us of the news he received nearly two years ago.

As an avid runner, cyclist and weight lifter, his shock was quickly replaced with anger as he dealt with, "Why me? I have always taken such great care of myself. I just can't understand how I have cancer." Being a competitive athlete, he did not take the news lying down. He moved past anger to gratitude in the advancements cancer research has made, as he puts it, "enough" progress to give him treatment options. He went all in and underwent a stem cell transplant, with levels of radiation that had to be administered by doctors and nurses in hazmat suits.

While he can't reverse the original diagnosis, he has bought himself a "little more time" to spend with his family and friends. As soon as he was able, he got right back into the gym to regain some of the strength he lost during treatment. He credits being in good physical shape, when the diagnosis arrived, for giving him the strength he needed to fight a tough battle. He would never have guessed he'd need his lifetime of strength to fight cancer, but without it, he may not be here with us today.

He has also chosen to use his time to raise awareness about the advances in cancer treatments. This man generously shares his story with others at cancer events in his area and believes that education and cancer awareness are critical, both on a personal and global level.

Several cancer awareness months are spread throughout the year. Each of those months is designed to bring awareness to specific types of cancer. April marks Cancer Control Month, which focuses on reminding us that more needs to be done to keep cancer at bay.

How Do We "Control" Cancer?
As the above story illustrates, even those of us who take exceptional care of ourselves are susceptible to any type of disease. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn't shield us from disease caused by genetics or environmental exposure. However, living healthy and keeping your body strong pays off by giving us strength to face life's unexpected challenges.

This is why regular exercise and eating healthy is at the top of every prevention list. Other lifestyle decisions to reduce the risk of cancer—such as quitting smoking or chewing tobacco—include, using sun protection and undergoing recommended screenings. See your doctor for regular check-ups, report any unusual symptoms and ask all the necessary questions to get the best treatment possible.

Cancer Survival & Caregiving
Another focus of Cancer Control Month is survivorship. Cancer treatments can increase the risk of other health conditions. Lung, heart, cognitive issues and musculoskeletal problems are among some of the health conditions cancer survivors are faced with after treatment. Cancer survivors still need support for themselves and are usually the first ones to offer support to others. Doctors, nurses and clinicians report that many survivors are often less likely to ask for help "post-cancer" because they don't want to burden their loved ones any longer. Also, survivors often deal with bouts of depression and anxiety, as they fear the return of their illness. As a nation, we can do more to support survivors as they rebuild their lives cancer-free.

Another aspect of any illness, especially a prolonged illness like cancer, is the caregiving that takes place behind the scenes. Cancer is a family disease, in that it brings families closer together as they care for their loved one. Caregiving, however, brings with it many emotions that need to be acknowledged. Caregiving is an important and fundamental role during your loved one's diagnosis, treatment and recovery. This too is an area that, as a nation, we can do more to support the caregivers who often feel overwhelmed and unprepared for their new role.

Don't Go At It Alone
Cancer Control Month serves not only as a reminder for increased awareness, the need for continued research and fundraising opportunities, but it is also a time for celebration. Although we still have so far to go when finding a cure, we are moving forward as a nation and a world, to find new treatment options and possible cures.

Undoubtedly, some type of cancer in some way has affected your life. Show your support by wearing the color or ribbon associated with your cause. Not just during it's designated month, but continue to show your support year-round to keep cancer awareness where it should be; at the forefront of the lifestyle decisions you and those you love make each and every day. A simple online search for "awareness events, ribbons and products" will take you on the path of being an active cancer awareness supporter!

January (Teal)
Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

February (Green)
National Cancer Prevention Month
Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month

March (Red & Blue)
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month

April (Lavender, Light Blue & Burgundy/White)
Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month
Testicular Cancer Awareness Month
Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month

May (Gray & Black)
Brain Cancer Awareness Month
Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month

June (Lavender)
National Cancer Survivors Day

July (Yellow, Purple/Blue/Peach)
Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
Sarcoma Awareness Week

September (Peach, Light Pink, Orange, Yellow, Burgundy, Teal, Aqua, Pink/Purple)
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
Hodgkin's Lymphoma Awareness Month
Leukemia Awareness Month
Lymphoma Awareness Month
Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

October (Pink & Green)
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Liver Cancer Awareness Month

November (Purple, White, Light Blue, Zebra Print)
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Month
National Family Caregivers Month
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Stomach Cancer Awareness Month

Member Spotlight: Karla Leriger

I was 23 years old when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and after I survived my battle, I really wanted to do something that would make a difference and help pay it forward. I am very proud to be on the Board of Directors and play a very active role for a non-profit organization called Pink Bandana and we put on a huge Mud Volleyball Tournament ever year in July for women that suffer from Breast Cancer. The tournament is held in Prague Nebraska and it is such a fun filled day. Our motto is "Play Dirty, and Feel Good About It". I can't tell you how great it feels to be on the other side of it all and be giving back to someone that went through my same struggles. It is so rewarding and always reminds me of how lucky and blessed I truly am. This will be our 7th year organizing and putting on the tournament, and this last year we were able to raise $10,000 each for two deserving women struggling with this horrible disease. When we started the tournament in 2008 we had 37 teams and raised $1,900 for one woman. Now we accept 256 teams to play in the tournament and last year we sold out in just 4 hours so it is truly an amazing event to be a part of!! We strive to increase awareness about the importance of screenings and remind young women to be vigilant about looking for the signs of breast cancer as it can affect them at any age. We chose recipients from Nebraska that are under 40 years old. Because even though Breast Cancer only hits about 5-7% of women under the age of 40 usually the type of Breast Cancer is more aggressive in younger women. If you would like to know more about the organization I am a part of you can go to www.pinkbandana.org.

I was asked to be one of the models this year in the Omaha Fashion Week Survivor show! And of course when there is something that I can do for a good cause, I am always up for it!! It was a great experience and met so many other wonderful cancer survivors!!

Workout of the Month by Sam Schrader

In 15 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of:
5 Burpees
10 Push-ups
15 Squats
Row 250 Meters

Burpees should be completed by bringing the chest all the way to the ground and jumping at the top of every repetition. The method of getting down and up is up to you.

Push-ups should be completed by bringing the chest to the ground and locking out the arms at the top. You can modify push-ups by dropping to the knees or placing the hands on a raised surface. Try to keep the body in a tight "plank" position throughout. Push-ups are a great core exercise too!

Squats are ideally done by dropping the hip crease below a plane created by the top of the knee. This is typically described as "below parallel." Squat by driving the hips back like you are sitting in a chair. If that feels awkward, place a box or soft ball behind you to remember to sit back. Keep your weight in your heels and mid-foot. Do not raise onto the balls of your feet.

Employee Spotlight: Sam Schrader

I grew up in Omaha, then attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, graduating with degrees in marketing and finance. Although I have always been active it was not until recently that I decided that I could be successful turning my hobby into my career. I danced throughout my youth, and then took up recreational distance running in college and beyond. I completed several half-marathons and three full marathons before I started to develop some overuse injuries. In October 2011, I found myself in a CrossFit gym with no experience in strength training or sports conditioning. Over the next two years, I pushed myself physically to levels I had never even considered possible. I currently participate in competitive CrossFit events locally and regionally. In the 2014 CrossFit Games Open, I am currently ranked in the top 10% of women worldwide. I was motivated to turn my passion into my work and at the same time help other people achieve the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. My favorite things about my work are teaching people to move well, and tricking people into working harder than they ever would on their own. I truly believe that my role is not that of an exercise leader, but as an educator. I want to make sure that anyone I work with is moving toward their goals, and is better prepared to keep themselves fit and healthy throughout his/her life.

Sam Schrader, Personal Trainer

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