How to Be Active with Cancer

HOW TO BE ACTIVE DURING CANCER TREATMENT

If you haven’t been exercising, start slowly and build up the time and intensity of your physical activity. For example, you may start walking for 5 minutes daily and add a minute each day. Every little bit helps!

Ideally, an exercise program combines three types of activity: Cardio, resistance and stretching exercises (Table 3).

Look for exercise programs designed for cancer patients at hospitals and in your community. Talk to your healthcare team about what is offered in your neighbourhood.  Ask your doctor for a referral to see a physical therapist or other expert in exercise during cancer treatment.

Table 3: Exercises to choose from

ID Aerobic (Cardio) Resistance (Strength) Stretching
1 Examples Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming* Lifting weights, doing pushups and sit-ups, using resistance bands Stretches, yoga, qi gong, tai chi
2 Why it helps Strengthens your heart and lungs. Lowers your risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease Maintains and builds strong muscles Keeps your muscles and joints flexible and prevents stiffness
3 How much? Aim for 30 minutes 5-7 days a week. You can split this up into 3 shorter 10-minute sessions. Aim for 2-3 days a week. Include exercises that target all of the major muscle groups, which include chest, back, shoulders, arms, abdomen, thighs and lower legs. Aim for 2 days a week

*Public pools, beaches, hot tubs and saunas are generally not recommended for people receiving radiation and/or chemotherapy treatment because of the risk of infection caused by bacteria.

HOW TO MANAGE CANCER FATIGUE

Cancer-related fatigue is the most common and often the most distressing side effect experienced by people with cancer. Learn tips on how to manage fatigue.

HOW TO STAY WELL NOURISHED AND HYDRATED

Getting all of the nutrients your body needs can help you maintain your weight and strength, stay active and support your recovery

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