The cancer, other treatment side effects, or some medical conditions can affect the physical activity that’s right for you.
If you have bone thinning or cancer in the bones, avoid high-impact activities. This includes running, jogging, football, tennis, squash, hockey etc where there’s more risk of falling and causing a bone to break (fracture). Do not do exercises that involve bending forward at the waist, such as toe touching and sit ups.
Good activities are walking, dancing, climbing stairs, swimming and resistance exercises. It’s also a good idea to also do exercises that improve your coordination and balance to reduce your risk of falling. This can include dancing, exercising to music and Tai Chi.
Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage)
Some chemotherapy drugs can damage the nerves. This causes numbness or tingling in your hands or feet, muscle weakness or difficulty with balance and coordination. If your feet or balance are affected, running or brisk walking especially on uneven surfaces, may not be the best activities for you. Cycling or swimming may be more suitable. Remember to check your feet regularly for cuts or blisters.
Always wear a compression garment when you exercise. Avoid doing lots of repetitive action with the affected limb. Swimming can be helpful if you have lymphoedema as it gently massages the lymphatic vessels. Ask your lymphoedema specialist for advice and build up the physical activity involving your arm or leg slowly.
Heart or lung problems
Most people with heart or lung problems can benefit from regular physical activity. Check with your doctor or specialist before you start any exercise programme.
Medicines to thin the blood
If you’re taking medicine to thin the blood, avoid high-impact activities, for example running, jogging, football, tennis, squash or hockey, that could result in bruising from a fall or blow.