When you are living with or after cancer, becoming more active can be a positive change to make in your life. Evidence shows that physical activity can benefit people affected by cancer in several different ways. Research suggests that being physically active, along with eating a healthy diet, can help reduce the risk of recurrence for some cancer types and increase survival. It also helps reduce the risk of developing other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Being active before, during and after treatment can:
- reduce tiredness (fatigue)
- improve your quality of life
- help look after your heart
- reduce anxiety and depression
- help you maintain a healthy weight
- strengthen your muscles, joints and bones
- improve your flexibility and help keep you supple
- increase your confidence.
At first, you might be nervous about starting and building up your activity, especially if you haven’t been active for a while. You may worry that you are too tired, don’t know how to start or don’t know what is best for you to do. You may also be concerned about injuring yourself. But even a little physical activity is better than none at all. It can help you feel less stressed and lift your spirits if you’re feeling low. It will also help you feel more in control, because you are doing something positive for yourself.