Dr. Amy Comander Is Passionate About Lifestyle Medicine

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Today’s guest is someone that is passionate about lifestyle medicine and the benefits of exercise to our overall health and wellness.

As an oncologist specializing in breast cancer, she encourages her patients to be active and does her best to practice what she preaches.

We will have no shortage of things to talk about as I go a few easy miles with Dr. Amy Comander today!

Dr. Amy Comander

We Get To Do This

Dr. Amy Comander ran her first marathon over a decade ago, so clearly she’s not a novice when it comes to the sport.

She ran the race in memory of her mother who passed away from an aggressive cancer in 2011.

Dr. Amy knows all about the fragility of life due to her chosen career and also losing loved ones.

Running is a celebration of life for Dr. Amy and she tries to never take for granted that she gets to do it.

Her first introduction to running was in high school.

Dr. Amy grew up in Savannah, Georgia where she would frequently join her dad for runs.

She never took herself too seriously when it came to sports and just enjoyed doing it for fun.

Dr. Amy continued to run throughout college and medical school as a way to stay in shape and relieve stress.

The Beginning Of A Tradition

Dr. Amy went to medical school in Boston.

Being a resident of Boston, meant that she was aware of the Boston Marathon.

Prior to ever running a marathon, Dr. Amy told her friends that she would one day run the race herself.

Dr. Amy worked at Mass General Hospital and decided to run for a team that had connections there.

The first charity team she ran for, supported children diagnosed with cancer.

Dr. Amy was hooked on the Boston Marathon after that first race.

She has since run Boston every year for various charity teams.

Dr. Amy Comander


Fundraising can be challenging for a variety of reasons.

Dr. Amy learned that she is most successful when she finds creative/fun ways to fundraise.

For many years prior to the covid pandemic, Dr. Amy had a yearly fundraising event.

She partnered with a close friend that owned a wine store where she hosted a ladies’ night out.

The ladies night out included chocolate, also donated from a friend’s business along with a variety of items for a silent auction.

Dr. Amy raised most of her money at the one event and everyone looked forward to it each year.

Her best advice, for those fundraising is to make it fun and exciting for those that want to donate.

Getting Creative

The covid pandemic affected the way most things happened during 2020 and the following year.

Dr. Amy still wanted to fundraise for the Boston Marathon, but she had to get creative.

She held various Zoom events ranging from yoga to talks about running.

For the first time in over a hundred years, the Boston Marathon was held as a virtual event.

Dr. Amy trained with a friend over the summer and ran the race together on the course.

As a physician, the pandemic was especially hard on her, but she relied on running to ease her stress.

Dr. Amy also ran the one and only fall Boston Marathon in 2021.

Ellie Fund

Dr. Amy has fundraised for various charities over the years, but the Ellie Fund is one that is especially close to her heart.

The Ellie Fund is a non-profit organization that is based in Massachusetts.

They provide supportive care and services to Massachusetts residents diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Ellie Fund is provided with 2 bibs per year to give to charity runners.

Dr. Amy is currently on the board of the organization and has gotten the opportunity to run for them.

The process to apply to charity teams typically begins after Labor Day and can take a bit of time.

A Rewarding Career

Dr. Amy knew from a young age that she wanted to become a doctor.

Her dream to help others was born from watching her dad as a doctor in the army.

While in college, she debated going into neuroscience and doing research.

Ultimately, Dr. Amy was drawn to caring for patients, particularly those with a cancer diagnosis.

Another area that she has been learning more about is the roles that activity and lifestyle play in one’s health.

Increased movement and a healthier overall lifestyle can not only play a role in prevention but also in outcome.

Cardio and strength training are both equally important in improving health.

Dr. Amy recommends finding something that you love and will stick with.

Dr. Amy Comander

An Emerging Field

The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that 1 in 3 deaths from cancer are related to lifestyle factors.

The causes of cancer are multi-factorial and there is still much to be learned.

One thing that is certain is that physical activity will work in your favor.

Even patients that are going through treatment are encouraged to be more active.

Exercise oncology is an emerging field that Dr. Amy hopes to understand more in the future.

Research is constantly being done to understand exercise at a molecular level and how it can have anti-cancer effects.

Dr. Amy is always happy and willing to share her resources with anyone that is interested.

Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected with Dr. Amy Comander on Instagram and/or Twitter.

Dr. Amy Comander is constantly learning and sharing about how lifestyle choices can not only prevent disease, but also treat it. Running can literally save lives. Click To Tweet

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