Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Starting an exercise program following a cancer diagnosis can lead to a lot of questions about what is right for your body. We have put together this list of tips specifically for you! It will give you the safe approach to wellness that you and your body deserve!
1. Listen To Your Body
It is important to remember that your exercise routine may be a little different from your routine pre-diagnosis. Your body is undergoing a lot of changes, and it may need to rest more often than you are used to. This is to be expected and should not keep you from pursuing an exercise program.
Some days may be easier than others, just depending where you are in your treatment regimen. The most important thing you can do is continue. Even if you need to take a day for stretching or yoga, that is okay! You need to listen to your body and continue to strengthen it to avoid loss of functional ability.
Here at THRIVE we are experts in cancer exercise and know how it impacts your body differently day to day. Since all of our programs are individualized, we can always adjust them to meet your specific needs for each session.
2. Incorporate Cardiovascular Activities
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests that people with cancer do 150 minutes of moderately intense cardiovascular activity each week. The best way to break this down is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
This can include activities like walking, biking, swimming, aerobics, etc...all things that keep your heart rate up! Now, do not be intimidated by the 30 minutes, because it can be dispersed in increments throughout your day. If you are not quite ready for a continuous 30 minutes of exercise, you can break it down into shorter bouts of activity. You can do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, then 10 minutes in the evenings...and BAM you have your 30 minutes completed for the day!
Find what works for you, your schedule, and your energy levels! Start with 10 minute increments then slowly progress to longer bouts of activity! The team at THRIVE can help you create a plan for where to start and give you guidance on how to safely progress it!
3. Try Resistance Training
Strength training can be intimidating. Many people are unfamiliar with it, or unaware of how to do it safely. The ACSM suggests that people with cancer incorporate strength training into their routine a minimum of two days per week!
This training style is specifically important during and after treatment. People often experience chronic fatigue during treatment that leads to becoming more sedentary. This then causes the natural loss of a lot of strength and functional ability.
THRIVE wants to help you take action so you can avoid this regression and continue doing the things you love and enjoy! We design strengthening programs that are specific to your personal goals! We want to help you do the things that are important to you!
4. Do things you enjoy!
Exercise should not be something you dread doing, we want you to look forward to it! Find ways to make it more fun! Maybe ask your neighbors if they want to start a walking group! Go for a hike with a pretty view! Get your friends involved! Add diversity to your workouts! Diversity will help you stick to it, and keep you from getting bored with exercise!
The individualized programming at THRIVE allows us to take your preferences into account each session! We can find ways to use the activities you enjoy and adapt them to help you meet your goals!
We would love to learn more about where you are in your journey and how we can help you get the most out of an exercise program! CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE phone consultation to discuss your personal goals and the best way to approach them!