Samantha Harris is the charismatic, super-fit, Emmy-winning TV host you may know best Dancing with the stars and Entertainment tonight.
And, at M&F Hers family, she is also a very famous series cover star, having graced the front page no less than four times. But, when a shock diagnosis of breast cancer in 2014 forced her to step back to beat the disease, Harris was forced to regain her confidence and rebuild a strained relationship with exercise.
Luckily, she is fighting now and has made it her mission to study the effects of physical activity and identify ways to keep us healthy, inspiring countless people with cancer through her inspirational health coaching. and her upbeat Instagram posts. At 49, Harris says that thanks to reevaluating her relationship with fitness, she’s never felt healthier, and she’s excited to be collaborating on a new yoga program that will get you moving again, just like she did it.
“On the first Muscle & Fitness Hers cover i made [in July 2002], I was literally the hired fitness model,” says Harris, who graced the cover again in 2004, 2005 and 2008 as a TV star in her own right. “When I got out of college, I discovered fitness on my own. I realized that underneath that soft-bodied girl from Minnesota, there was actually this muscle that I discovered, which I had no idea he was there! I loved getting stronger. I loved that feeling and it was so empowering.
When Samantha Harris was knocked down, she came back stronger
Having been diagnosed with stage II invasive breast cancer At 40, Harris’ confidence took a devastating hit, not least because she always considered herself fit and healthy before illness. “To be caught off guard by a cancer diagnosis was, as you can imagine, incredibly shocking,” she says. “The biggest challenge I’ve had, and I’m sure my surgeon laughed at me because, by the time I woke up from surgery, it wasn’t ‘hey, it all worked out. fine?’ it was ‘hey, when can I start exercising again?’
Yet, as millions of people around the world can attest, resuming physical activity after a while of absence is easier said than done. “I had to limit my mobility for six weeks,” says Harris. “I had three surgeries so it took six weeks before I could go back to the gym.” Even upon his return to exercise, there were complex challenges to overcome that many cancer survivors will surely identify with. “There were so many insecurities about fitness,” Harris bravely shares. “I had had a double mastectomy (where both breasts are removed at the same time) so my entire chest wall had undergone very elaborate and traumatic surgery. I had eleven lymph nodes (these are organs that contain cells for the immune system) removed from my arm, which meant I had incredible limitation in my range of motion. 8 years later, I still very rarely do full, wide push-ups.
Harris began to make physical progress through lots of manual stimulation, such as stretching, and became passionate about learning more about the causes and cures of chronic illnesses. His book, “Your Healthiest Health” debuted as an Amazon bestseller and garnered acclaim from celebrities like Kris Jenner and Brooke Burke. But being active isn’t just for celebrities and fit, strong people. Harris wants her fellow cancer survivors to benefit as well, and she says yoga is an invaluable tool for doing that.
To that end, the popular presenter has teamed up with Susan G. Komen and YogaWorks to launch “YogaWorks Pink.” The program offers three months of free live and on-demand yoga classes led by top experts in the fields of yoga and regenerative health. “I really could have used a program like this,” says Harris, who is now a professional health coach and national ambassador for Susan G. Komen.
Samantha Harris believes yoga is great for building strength and confidence
Yoga has long been shown to offer multiple benefits to cancer survivors. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that yoga reduced fatigue in breast cancer survivors, with participants reporting a significant improvement in their quality of life after undertaking a 12-week yoga program. Additionally, becoming more active will likely benefit cancer survivors’ sleep quality, cardiovascular fitness, and general well-being. Generally, yoga is considered a safe and effective complementary therapy for cancer survivors, and it can be easily adapted to individual needs and abilities, just be sure to seek the advice of a medical professional if you are unsure of your personal situation.
“I know, for me, exercise has become a big part of who I am,” says Harris, who can also be seen hosting “Tug of Words” on the Game Show Network. “I feel myself when I move my body. I am more productive if I train. I am calmer, more patient and more present. This all went without saying, before my diagnosis, but since cancer, what I realize now is the importance of integrating even more stress reduction techniques, to keep that inflammation, which comes from chronic stress… keep that at bay. Yoga allowed me, after cancer, to reclaim my body, to work on my balance and my endurance. And the poses offered by YogaWorks Pink have been tailored to the specific needs of the breast cancer community.
Samantha Harris has redefined her relationship with health and fitness
Far from having her relationship with health and fitness destroyed in the wake of her cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgeries, Samantha Harris has redefined what it means to be strong to her, and nowadays it’s all about much more than magazine covers. “When I was hosting Dancing with the Stars and all my entertainment news shows, all I wanted to do was look good in a dress on TV,” she says. “When I came back to exercise after cancer, I realized that I needed to exercise my body so that I could feel what my body could do for me. How this body, this one vessel that I ‘ve for a lifetime can he carry me through hopefully what will be a very long life; physically fit and sane so that I can one day hopefully play with my little ones “children? This is the goal that allows me to move forward.”
Learn more about YogaWorks Pink and register for free here!