Highly recommended exercise practices for people with cancer

Accumulating evidence continues to show that exercise may be a key component in successful cancer prevention and treatment. This practice can be very stressful enough for healthy people, let alone those battling cancer.

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation treatments are cumulative, which means that the more treatments you have, the more fatigue you will feel.

Exercise is however recommended for individuals trying to prevent cancer, but also very beneficial to those battling with cancer. Due to the different cancer types, and their level of strength, here are various types of exercise practices recommended for cancer patients:

Strength Training Exercises:

Strength training improves muscle tone and fights muscle loss that can occur with aging. It can be done with dumbbells, barbells and weight machines.

As muscles become more dense, they tend to put more pressure on the bone. Trying to maintain bone density through strength training and weight-bearing exercises like walking will help you maintain bone density.

Cancer patients should however consult their doctor before undergoing a weight training regimen.


A good sense of balance is vital for a workout free of slips or tumbles. Drugs can impair balance for some cancer patients. And for those on chemotherapy with decreased bone mass, it takes only one fall to break a bone.

Therefore cancer patients and survivors should make sure balance exercises are a regular part of their fitness routine. Simple exercises such as walking a narrow path (putting one foot in front of the other, as if walking a tightrope) or heel raises (standing in place and raising each heel up and down) can improve balance.

One good thing about this kind of exercise is that, they are generally safe to do even right after cancer treatment.


There are exercises specifically to strengthen the shoulder. Women who have had breast cancer may want increase their range of motion. This could be achieved by stretching -engaging in exercises in which you face a wall and “walk” your arms up the wall.

Doing these stretching exercises for the areas which they’ve had their surgery could help them regain mobility in those areas.



Aerobic exercise like walking, bicycling and running helps in getting the heart rate up. By alternating cardiovascular exercise with strength exercises, an individual can increase lean muscle mass, decrease fat and increase the body’s metabolism.

It is one of the best things to maintain body weight, because calories are burnt.

Being overweight is a risk factor for cancer, and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of cancer developing or recurring.