Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Subscribe to our Living With Cancer e-newsletter to stay up to date on cancer topics.
We've talked about the benefits of exercise before. However, this time even more research supports the idea that people with a cancer diagnosis should be active throughout all stages of survivorship.
The idea has gone as far as encouraging doctors to prescribe exercise as a strategy to improve quality of life and long term outcomes for cancer survivors.
The research is strong showing positive benefits for cancer survivors, including:
Adding exercise and movement to your day doesn't need to be complicated. Start slow and be creative. Even small changes in your daily routine can make a difference. Getting started can be the hardest part, so here are a few ideas:
Has your health care provider prescribed exercise for you? Share your thoughts on the topic. Follow me on Twitter at @SherylNess1. Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
Follow on Twitter:
Selecting "Submit" signifies that you have read and agree to our posting guidelines.
I keep hearing about people exercising during treatment. While I'm sure that exercise would be beneficial, I am so exhausted by chemo that I cannot begin. Most days simply walking up a flight of stairs wears me out. Might anyone have some advice?
Just returned from walking all four Disney Theme Parks at Disney World, Florida, in four days with my grandson's and their parents. I have metastatic breast cancer w mets to the lung,bone, and abdomen. It's been 8 1/2 years since the cancer returned. I pop in an exercise DVD 4-5 times a week, aerobic exercise with stretching and toning. It's a great way to work on the weight issue and get the "good body cells" fully oxygenated. Without a doubt I could not have enjoyed the sparkle in my grandsons' eyes as we walked and rode the rides without a commitment to staying strong w a regular exercise routine.
Hi, I'm seven months after chemo for ovarian cancer on warfarin and gained thirty pounds. Chemo left me with neuropathy. I can barely walk sometimes. I am determined to lose the weight so i just started using my treadmill five minutes a day along with diet changes. I feel good and can see the benefits from the little I am doing. On a mission:-)
One needs to be unorthodox in one's conception of 'exercises'.Very recently,my mom taught my father some yogic exercises called 'Mudras',which are done sitting in one place-with no strnuous physical movement.She suspects that the recent improvements in his blood reports is linked to these.Even I started doing these 'mudras' today for healing sleeplessness.
I believe exercise has been one of the best medicines for fighting my metastatic breast cancer.
Having already been a fitness enthusiast, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago. So, two months before having mascectomy and tram reconstruction, I amped it up to get my obliques as strong as possible. I had an amazingly easy recovery.
Two years later, 8 years ago, I was diagnosed with bone mets. It attacked my right humerous, and I have since had 5 open arm/shoulder surgeries. This has left my arm with quite limited use. Exercising techniques have now changed and as the years have passed, my routine has been more challenging. The intensity I exercise at and my abilities has changed but I would not give it up.
I continue to exercise as much as possible.
i am fortunate to have a treadmill, stair climber, Pilates reformer and weight system set up in our home and I make it my happy place with twinkle lights along the ceiling. I sometimes take my kindle on the treadmill and before I know it I've walked 5 miles!
It makes me feel in control, which makes my mind and body feel 'normal'.
It is about time the medical world starts to recognize the be fits of exercise and fitness for cancer patients. Especially with breast cancer patients who often gain weight during treatment. It doesn't come off easily afterward, as often the thyroid is compromised.
Nutrition counseling and fitness training should be a standard prescription.
I have stage 4 breast cancer, my pelvic area, all the long bones and ribs, sternum and my scull bone infiltrated. I walk for exercise, and believe me it works wonders. I am not allowed to bend nor lift heavy things.
Some facilities have chemo/radiation and
exercise equipment under the same roof. Point being,
it would be so beneficial if sometimes before
taking a chemo session; a patient might spend
a few minutes on a treamdill right before
their treatment to get the "kinks out" and
relax a little.
I have just passed the 5 year anniversary of completion of 8 months of chemo for metastasized breast cancer to the stomach lining(inoperable). During treatment, I walked daily for 45 minutes with the exception of only 5 occasions. Sometimes I felt I could not make it back to my house especially in the first few days when I would feel 30 years older than I am! I feel that the exercise helped my mind and body to keep going during the treatments. Once finished treatment, I have kept up an hour of exercise a minimum of 3X per week in addition to doing yardwork. I am convinced that this has made my body stronger and more able to cope in continuing to fight the cancer. I always feel better after a session.I would strongly encourage keeping up an exercise regimen if one feels up to it.
Both my radiation oncologist and medical oncologist and GP suggested that exercise would help after surgery and radiation for melanoma/lymphedema. It worked, keeping the swelling down and controlling the nerve pain. I would recommend this advice to everyone who has cancer followed by treatment.
I have always exercised. Usually a two to three time a week aerobics class that includes cardio, weights, bands, stability balls anda little yoga. I have recently started adding some yoga classes since I have read that that may prevent pain. For the past 3 1/2 years I have had metastatic breast cancer to bones and lungs. I am pain free for the most part and attribute that to Aredia and to all the exercising I do. The oncologist supports this. I am 81 years old.
Exercise was not prescribed for me, however, since I am a retired PT, I know how important exercise is for healing of any kind. After my 2 lung cancer surgeries and chemo, I started a slow conditioning program consisting of walking and gentle stretching. Now on the eve of 5 years since my initial diagnosis, I just completed a hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (and back up!) It took determination to regain my strength and endurance, and my love is hiking, but any exercise program definitely makes you feel better, mentally and physically.
I find that oncologists have little advice to offer as far as encouragement to exercise or eating properly. Whatever I have done was on my own instincts and from reading and studying what others experienced.
I was asked by my Dr to try to exercise. For me that is a four letter word,but I have started to exercise. I am wondering what I should be eating since I do not seem to be losing any weight and I was told I needed to lose 30 lbs. I am on Tamoxifen and warfarin.
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Proceeds from website advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse non-Mayo products and services.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.