What exercise should I be doing with a cancer diagnosis?

Exercise can mean different things to different people. Some people love it, some dislike it, and others do something because they know they should. After a cancer diagnosis, exercise can often be missed out altogether due to side effects from treatment, the number of medical appointments taking up most of your time, feeling fatigued, pain, or feeling confused about what types and amount of exercise is safe to do.


Strong evidence has shown that being physically active has numerous health benefits for people living with cancer. These include reducing side effects associated with treatment, reducing the risks of recurrences, building good muscle and bone density, reducing cancer related fatigue, and improving mood, mental health and general quality of life. Exercise can help reduce the cytotoxic effects of treatment and protects your heart from the late effects from chemotherapy; which can reduce your aerobic capacity by 20%. Evidence has shown that exercise can help mitigate the left ventricular decline that can happen during cancer treatments. So how much should we do?


It is recommended that we participate in 150 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week. However, knowing where to start, how to pace activity correctly and knowing the right type of exercise often means patients end up stopping most of their preloved sports and hobbies in fear that they may end up causing more harm than good, or they simply do not know where to start. This is something that we often hear when patients come to see us at Ribbon Health.


Exercising with cancer has been shown to be most effective when tailored, specific and prescribed exercises are given. This is something we pride ourselves on at Ribbon Health. If you are feeling like you or someone you know needs specialist advice and support, contact us for more information or visit our website to see our range of services. Please visit www.ribbonhealth.co.uk or call on 07842 536405. Ribbon Health can also be found on social media: @RibbonHealthLtd

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