It can be hard to keep moving while you are having cancer treatment, but exercise can make you feel better.
Alongside eating well, it’s important to keep active when you have cancer. Making time for physical activity can have many benefits.
There’s growing evidence that people who are active before and after a cancer diagnosis have a better chance of survival. On top of this, physical activity can:
Generally, it’s safe, and beneficial, for people with cancer to exercise. However, it’s best to start slowly and build up if you aren’t used to exercising regularly.
You may also want to let your doctor or nurse know if you want to start being more active as they might be able to signpost you towards an appropriately qualified exercise specialist who can give you individual advice and support.
It can be tricky to know where to start, so here are some tips:
A good way to get more active is by walking. Going for a walk every day gets you out into the fresh air and will make sure you aren’t completely inactive.
It sounds obvious, but try to pick activities you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a sport or exercising in the gym – it could be swimming, gardening or dancing.
These will help stimulate muscle growth and help prevent you losing muscle and strength. Strength exercises can be done using free weights (eg dumbbells or even water bottles or cans of food), weight machines or resistance bands.
You can also do exercises that use your own body weight, such as squats or press-ups. Everyday activities like carrying shopping can also help.
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