When you are living with or after cancer becoming more active can help you make a positive change to your life. We can all benefit from being physically active. It helps reduce the risk of health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and is recommended as a treatment for these conditions. There’s also evidence that physical activity can benefit people affected by cancer.
Physical activity is any movement using your muscles that helps improve your fitness, health and wellbeing.
At first you might feel nervous about building up your activity levels, especially if you haven’t been active for a while. You may be worried that you’re too tired or you may not know where to begin.
Even a little physical activity is better than none. It can help you feel less stressed and generally healthier. It can also help you to feel more in control because you are doing something for yourself.
During treatment, doctors and nurses usually advise you to try to limit the time you spend sitting or lying down. They may encourage you to take some gentle activity such as going for short walks. Not being active can make you feel more tired and lose cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength. Cardiorespiratory fitness is how well your heart and lungs work to deliver oxygen to muscles over longer periods of time.
After treatment, being physically active can help you to cope with and recover from some side effects.
Being active can range from simple daily activities such as, housework, gardening and walking to the shops to more energetic activities such as running, cycling, dancing or a gym based exercise programme.
How much and what you choose to do will depend on where you are with your treatment, your preferences and level of fitness.