Physical activity

The traditional belief has been that people with cancer should rest, reduce activity and avoid activities involving intense physical effort. There is now substantial evidence suggesting that the physical activity recommendations developed by the Department of Health are sufficient for most cancer survivors - a total of at least 30-minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity on five or more days of the week.

Additionally, there is evidence that the more physical activity you do, the greater any benefits. Even a small amount of exercise is beneficial, and will result in benefits compared to doing nothing at all.

  • Local Authority, community or privately led exercise schemes
    There is a wealth of evidence for physical activity during and after treatment, improving symptoms of cancer-related fatigue, quality of life and increasing energy and stamina. For further information please contact your health care professional. Many charities, councils, support networks offer walking group and exercise programmes near to yout home. Search the website for schemes close to you.

  • Trust Led Exercise Programmes
    Specific exercises soon after treatment can ease the symptoms of lymphoedema. Contact your health care professional for further information. More tailored exercise programmes may be suitable to your needs. Contact your health care professional for further details.

    Excess weight should be avoided (i.e. a body mass index of 25-29kg/m or above). There is also evidence that maintaining a stable healthy weight as opposed to fluctuating between a healthy and unhealthy BMI can offer health benefits for cancer survivors.

    Strong and consistent evidence has shown that there is an increased risk of disease progression and death in people who continue to smoke after a diagnosis of cancer.