Physical Activity and exercise is important for everyone, perhaps even more so for people with cancer, as it can help reduce cancer-related fatigue.
Although it may seem natural to rest more when you are tired, there is significant evidence that a low to moderate intensity exercise program can substantially reduce cancer-related fatigue and improve your quality of life. Everyone is different, there is a balance between the amount of exercise that energizes you and what tires you
Benefits of exercise
- More energy, less fatigue.
- Better appetite.
- Better sleep.
- Stronger muscles.
- A feeling of well-being.
How to be active:
Choose an activity you like, that suits your age, health, and fitness level.
Start slowly. Begin with light exercise such as a short walk, gentle yoga or stretching. Try walking to the end of your driveway or up and down your hallway to get started. Even short walks will help.
Go at your own pace. Gradually build up to 30 minutes of activity. For example, add 5 minutes of activity each week. Stop and rest if an activity makes you feel sore, stiff or out of breath. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week
30 minutes each day
- Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week
- Moderate means the effort is not too easy or too hard. You should be able to talk comfortably while doing the activity, and not be out of breath.
- Moderate activity includes aerobic activities (such as walking or cycling) and strength training. Choose activities that you enjoy.
- If you cannot be active for 30 minutes, split it up into shorter sessions of 5 to 10 minutes.
Your health care team
Talk to your health care team about how to exercise safely, if you have:
- Cancer in your bones
- A low number of red or white blood cells, or platelets
- A fever or infection
- Problems with balance
- Shortness of breath