Should I Exercise During My Cancer Treatment?

THIS IS A COMMON QUESTION ASKED BY MY CLIENTS....

Should I exercise during my cancer treatment?

 

The answer is...an astounding yes! Here is why.

 

There are SO many benefits to exercise pre / during / post treatment. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do, but research shows it can make all the difference, even enhance your recovery!

 

 

So What Are the Benefits of Exercise During Cancer Treatment?

 

Improved muscle strength

Making sure we stay strong to prevent loss of muscle mass and ability to

Exercise During Cancer Treatment

move and get through our day.

 

Improved mood

With a lot of changes happening around us, exercise is a great way to get up get moving and put a smile on your face and get some feel good energy. It’s also great to grab a friend or family member to do it with you.

 

Improved function to complete activities of daily living

The ability to climb the stairs at home or get in and out the car with ease, cooking your favourite meal or walking to the shops. Exercise can help to maintain and build our strength so we can continue to do the things we love!

 

Reduction in severity of treatment side effects

Exercise can help us to reduce the severity of pain, fatigue and nausea during treatment.

 


Heaps Of Positives Right?!

 

There are so many positives to exercise, the number one thing that we can do is to keep moving!

 

Yes, we may have some bumps in the road, but there is always some way we can exercise every day.

 

It’s important to enjoy exercise and have some fun! Grab a friend, partner, sibling and go for a walk or head the gym. I can guarantee that even 20 minutes of activity will make you feel better both mentally and physically.

 


How Much Should I Be Doing?

 

How much exercise per weekIn terms of how much we should be doing, The Australian Physical Activity guidelines recommend 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week (walking/bike riding), muscle strengthening at least 2x week, minimise and break up long periods of sitting and be active as much as we can (preferably daily).

 

However, this is completely different for each individual!

 

It’s really important to remember that if you put two people, same age, same gender, same diagnosis, with the same treatment, they will not respond the same way and this is the same with exercise!

 

The evidence is there, we know what will help but it needs to be individualised for YOU! And that’s the fun part!

 

It’s important to work with your Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) with experience in cancer to support and provide the best exercise prescription to achieve your goals.

 
Kara Leighton
Kara Leighton
Accredited Exercise Physiologist & Breast Cancer EP Specialist