What is physical activity?

Being physically active can mean doing simple daily activities. This includes:

  • housework, for example vacuuming
  • gardening
  • walking to the shops
  • walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift.

Or it can mean more energetic activities, such as:

  • dancing
  • running
  • cycling
  • digging in the garden

What type of physical activity you do will depend on what stage you are at with cancer treatment. It will also depend on which activities you enjoy. Your level of fitness will also affect the amount of activity that you can do.

Why be more active?

Becoming more physically active is a positive change when you are living with or after cancer. Cancer and its treatment can make things feel very uncertain. Doing something for yourself like becoming more active can help you feel more in control. Research suggests that along with having a healthy diet, being physically active can help reduce the risk of some cancer types coming back. It can also help reduce the risk of developing other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Being active before, during and after treatment is safe. It can:

There is also a small amount of evidence to suggest physical activity may help improve memory.

You might be nervous about starting a physical activity plan, especially if you were not very active before your cancer treatment. You may worry that you are too tired or that you might injure yourself. But research shows that even a little activity is better than no activity at all. As you start to feel more confident, you can slowly build up the amount of physical activity you do.

When so many things are going wrong, it feels great to do something that you can tell makes you feel better as you do it.


Back to Keeping active

Health walks

Walking is one of the most popular forms of activity and a great way to keep active. Health walk programmes are available across the UK.

Tips for getting started

It is important to take care of yourself when you start to be more active. Your healthcare team can give you advice.

Activities near you

There are lots of organisations and websites that can help you find out what activities are available near you.

Tools to help you move more

Taking part in physical activity during and after cancer treatment can play a huge part in enabling you to take back control. We have a range of tools to help you be more active.

Apps to help you

There are a number of digital applications that can help you on your journey to becoming more active.