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Exercise program for cancer patients

Exercise during cancer treatment

Things you need to know

  • Exercise can surely be linked to reduced risk of cancer in the body
  • Physical activity has been found to be beneficial for patients with prostate, breast, and colorectal cancer
  • Exercise is safe and can help prevent loss of muscle and reduce the feeling of nausea and fatigue

Use exercise as a weapon to fight off cancer

Cancer might have started the fight with your body but make sure you finish the fight because cancer is only going to be a chapter in your book of life do not let it be your whole story. Its understandable that it is easier said than done, but it is equally important to be strong to face your fears and pick up a challenge to overcome cancer. So, exercising during and post-treatment will help you stay physically and psychologically fit.

Benefits of exercising during cancer treatment

  • Helps to reduce side effects like tiredness and nausea
  • Control the feeling of anxiety, stress, and depression
  • A cancer exercise program helps to enhance the quality of life
  • Cancer training can help to strengthen the muscles and prevent further muscle loss
  • Might help to reduce the chances of other serious cancers
  • With the help of exercise, individuals can avoid chronic diseases like heart diseases, strokes, and diabetes
  • Exercise will help maintain the weight and reduce the chances of obesity and cancer
  • Might increase the effectiveness of your cancer medication

Right exercises to include in your program

1. Balancing exercises

Balancing exercises can help increase mobility and strengthen your muscles. Maintaining a good balance can help avoid fall injuries when fatigued and nauseous.

2. Stretching exercises

Stretching exercises can help improve flexibility and fix posture. Stretching can help repair the muscles by improving blood circulation. Radiation therapy can make your restrict your range of motion and tighten.

(Note: Make sure to consult your doctor before trying any exercises)

3. Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises can help improve the respiratory system as patients may feel shortness of breath during the cancer treatment. Breathing exercises also help relieve stress, make you feel less anxious, and help loosen the stiffness in your muscles.

4. Aerobics 

Aerobics helps relieve tension and stress and elevate your heart rate to keep you healthy and away from several diseases. Aerobics can reduce heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer. Aerobics can help you feel less exhausted during and after treatment by strengthening your heart and lungs.

(Note: Aerobics should be performed only after consulting the doctor.)

5. Exercise safely during the treatment

Before starting to work out and performing physical activities, always make sure that your doctor gives a green signal for exercising. Your exercise depends on the type of treatment and the type of cancer you are diagnosed with. Working out is important but working out safely and cautiously is more important. Below are some of the ways to do so:-

  • Make sure to exercise safely without compromising your health
  • Pay attention and listen well to your body, do not go hard on yourself in terms of the intensity of your workout
  • Have plenty of water while working out to avoid the risk of dehydrating yourself
  • Slow and steady wins the race, so progress slowly and give time to yourself and increase your exercise level only when you feel your body is ready
  • Do not let your anger and frustration get into your head
  • Diet is the most important thing while working out. Ask your doctor to curate a well-balanced diet plan for you which should include high in protein food and food that helps your body to recover


Q. What exercise is good for chemo patients?

There are plenty of exercises that are beneficial for the patients, but which works best might differ from individual to individual. So, it is recommended to consult a specialist.

Q. Can you exercise the day after chemo?

The decision to work out or not depends on how your body is responding. Though, it is advisable to avoid strenuous activities right after chemotherapy.

Q. Can you lift weights while on chemo?

It is beneficial t light some lightweight to help tone and strengthen your muscles

Q. Does exercise help cancer survival?

Each case and patient is different. But there have been studies with results that exercise can surely help reduce the risk of mortality in patients.

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