Physical Activity

Physical Activity

Exercise not only prevents disease it also reduces stress. Making time to get outside or just simply “get moving” makes us stronger, healthier versions of ourselves. But did you know being active also reduces your risk of cancer and helps foster a healthy survivorship for people living with cancer?

The American Cancer Society recommends the following guidelines for a physically active lifestyle:

  • Adults: Engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week, or an equivalent combination preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Children and adolescents: Engage in at least one hour of moderate or vigorous-intensity activity each day, with vigorous-intensity activity on at least three days a week.
  • Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching TV, and other forms of screen-based entertainment.
  • Physical activity above usual activities, at every activity level, can have many health benefits.

For more information, order Healthy Families Guidebook.

Physical Activity After a Cancer Diagnosis

In the past, people being treated for a chronic illness were often told by their doctor to rest and reduce their physical activity. But newer research has shown that exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment, but it can improve how well you function physically and your quality of life.

Ways regular exercise may help you during cancer treatment:

  • Keep or improve your physical abilities (how well you can use your body to do things)
  • Improve balance, lower risk of falls and broken bones
  • Keep muscles from wasting due to inactivity
  • Lower the risk of heart disease
  • Lessen the risk of osteoporosis (weak bones that are more likely to break)
  • Improve blood flow to your legs and lower the risk of blood clots
  • Make you less dependent on others for help with normal activities of daily living
  • Improve your self-esteem
  • Lower the risk of being anxious and depressed
  • Lessen nausea
  • Improve your ability to keep social contacts
  • Lessen symptoms of tiredness (fatigue)
  • Help you control your weight
  • Improve your quality of life

Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

For more information, order a Guide for Patients with a Recent Cancer Diagnosis.