Exercise and Cancer

~ Elizabeth Jones, CRNP

It is well-accepted that exercise has many health benefits, however, there are an increasing number of studies examining the therapeutic benefits of exercise during and after cancer treatment. Exercise may improve quality of life, as well as reduce symptoms such as fatigue, pain, stress, anxiety, and depression.

Ask your provider to discuss an exercise program that may be safe and effective for you. If you were very physically active prior to cancer diagnosis and/or treatment, you may need to decrease the intensity or length of your workouts. If you were sedentary prior to treatment, you may need to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and length of exercise sessions.

Some people may exercise on their own, while others may benefit from a formal program such as with a physical therapist or exercise physiologist. Exercise programs should include a combination of activities to incorporate aerobic, strength, and flexibility. It is important to do these in a way that is enjoyable to you. You may love walking around the block with a friend after dinner, lifting weights while listening to your favorite music, or trying a new activity like yoga at a local studio. There are many gyms and fitness centers in the area, but you may prefer to workout in the comfort of your own home with DVDs, videos, or on-line instruction.

Regardless of your age, diagnosis or current exercise status, you should always talk to your provider before starting an exercise program. Please visit the links below for more information about exercise in the setting of cancer and cancer treatment.

Click on the articles below for more information:
Life With Cancer - Exercise
Physical Activity and the Cancer Patient
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