If you have been recently diagnosed with cancer or are undergoing treatment, it's important to practice self-care. Studies show that one of the best ways to care for yourself is to be physically active.

Regular exercise can be beneficial to your daily routine - even while you are undergoing cancer therapy. Fatigue is one of the most challenging symptoms that patients report experiencing related to cancer treatment. Exercise can play a very important role in increasing energy and decreasing fatigue.

Activities that can be helpful in enhancing physical wellbeing and improve recovery include:

  • Moderate aerobic exercise, like riding a stationary bicycle or taking a daily walk
  • Use of light weights for strength training
  • Yoga and stretching activities

IMPORTANT: Discuss with your doctor or physical therapist the type of exercise you are considering to ensure it will be safe. If you are starting a new exercise program, consult with your health care provider to determine if any special precautions need to be taken. There may be times in your treatments when some activities need to be avoided, like swimming during radiation therapy.

Programs for exercise during cancer

Some exercise programs are specifically designed for people living with cancer. Contact Wellspring or Gilda’s Club for more information about the special exercise programs that are available.

The Taking Charge – Healthy Lifestyle Choices After Breast Cancer program is an option for women who have received care at Mount Sinai Hospital.  

Cancer Care Ontario has pulled together a guide with more ideas about exercise during cancer treatment.

Exercise for people with cancer

A patient guide from Cancer Care Ontario