Exercise Tips During the Cancer Journey

Content by: NCES, Inc.

Cancer treatments are a challenge, but the combination of a healthy diet and physical activity strengthens the body’s immune system, lessens fatigue and helps prevent weight gain.

Exercise Tips During the Cancer Journey


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Exercising with Cancer can be an essential part of managing side effects. Cancer-related fatigue is the most commonly reported side effect from cancer and its treatments. Daily Exercise will reduce de-conditioning, improve sleep, and lower anxiety.

How Often? Frequency and recovery are important to begin strength training. Three times per week is ideal for building lean muscle and reducing fatigue. One-to-two days help with maintenance, but won’t increase strength.

Get Plenty of Rest. Don’t fight fatigue. Rest when needed. Take naps, but try to limit to 20-30 minutes during the daytime.

Plan & Delegate Activities. Limit & prioritize activities. Do important things first & decrease the number of less important activities. Allow others to offer help with daily activities.

Manage Stress. Take time to put stressors into perspective and work to eliminate unhealthy or unnecessary stress. Complete at least one activity for enjoyment each day.

Focus on Eating for Energy. During Cancer Treatments, adequate proteins, vitamins and calories are necessary to maintain healthy weight and support the body's immune system.

Continue To Have A Social Life. While limiting social life does conserve energy, it is important to do things and spend time with people.

It's a FACT! 90% of patients and caregivers report feeling fatigued during cancer treatment.

Quick Tips for Beginning Exercise:
- Workout when you feel well and have the most energy
- Wear good shoes that support your feet
- Stay hydrated – keep water close and break for drinks when you need them
- Move to the beat – good music keeps you motivated and inspired

Next Steps:
There are two Schedule Options to consider for best results.
Type 1. Full body every other day
Type 2. Upper body Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Lower body Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday

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