How to Stay Physically Active During Cancer Treatment

Aug 31 • 2015
How to Stay Physically Active During Cancer Treatment

Undergoing cancer treatment can be absolutely exhausting. The idea of incorporating physical activity into your daily schedule may seem impossible, but exercise has been shown to improve the quality of life for cancer patients. Rest is certainly good for you, especially when battling cancer-related fatigue, but too much of it can lead to reduced range of motion and muscle weakness. Because of this, many of today’s cancer patients are encouraged to be as physically active as possible.

Not only does physical activity help you keep or improve your current physical abilities, it also provides a variety of other benefits to people with cancer, like:

  • Improved balance
  • Lower risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety, and osteoporosis
  • Improved blood flow to your legs
  • Weight control
  • Lessened nausea
  • Higher quality of life and self-esteem

Your personal exercise program during cancer treatment should be based on what works best for you and should be recommended for you by your doctor. Find something you enjoy and take into account any physical limitations you may have. When developing your workout plan with your doctor, consider the following:

  • What kind of cancer treatment you are undergoing and its associated side effects
  • The type of cancer you were diagnosed with and what stage it is in
  • Your current endurance, strength, and fitness levels

Remember that even if you were physically active before you found out you had cancer, you may need to work out less often or at a lower intensity level now that you are receiving treatment. Don’t push your body too hard – instead, gradually build up your tolerance to make sure you’re not burning through all of your energy too quickly.

Would you like to learn more about how you can craft a personalized workout plan that meets your needs during cancer treatment? Ask your doctor to recommend an exercise specialist or physical therapist that can work with you.