Physical Activity and Cancer Survivors

Physical activity has many benefits. It can help:

  • Lower the risk of cancer recurrence
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Improve overall survival
  • Relieve stress
  • Improve quality of life among cancer survivors
  • Maintain or improve physical abilities, strength and agility
  • Improve balance and reduce risk of falls
  • Reduce risk of osteoporosis
  • Keep muscles from wasting away
  • Reduce fatigue (tiredness), depression, and anxiety
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Stimulate a reduced appetite
  • Aid digestion

The American Cancer Society and the American College of Sports Medicine encourage survivors to engage in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate and/or vigorous activities (e.g., 30 minutes 5 days/week). Include strength training exercises at least two days per week to promote bone density and muscle mass.

Be sure to take it slow with small changes and gradual increases in physical activity. This will help keep you free from injuries and make physical activity a permanent habit!

It is also important to not sit around the rest of the day when you are not exercising. Think about how many hours each day you sit at school, at work, in the car, at meals, or in front of the TV.  Increased sedentary time is associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer.

Examples of ways to add more activity to your daily routine:

  • Walk around the neighborhood after dinner
  • Ride your bike
  • Mow the grass or rake leaves
  • Play tag with the kids or grandkids
  • Weed the garden
  • Wear a pedometer
  • Take a class like yoga, dancing, Zumba, or tai chi

Learn about the wellness events taking place at Roswell Park.