Living Well Beyond Cancer

The Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Survivors

“Exercise is important for everyone, but there is evidence that shows it might be especially important for cancer survivors.”
— Jennifer Ligibel, MD

Getting regular exercise may provide key benefits for cancer  survivors. Dr. Jennifer Ligibel from Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's  Cancer Center discusses new research findings. (Runtime: 6:55) <!–

–>Getting regular exercise may provide key benefits for cancer survivors. Dr. Jennifer Ligibel from Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center discusses new research findings. (Runtime: 6:55)  view video

Exercise Promotes Healthy Survivorship

Studies suggest that cancer survivors who exercise regularly may feel better, have less fatigue, and experience fewer symptoms after treatment, compared to those who do not get regular exercise. Researchers at Dana-Farber continue to explore just how exercise can benefit cancer patients and survivors, including lowering the risk of a cancer recurrence, but the bottom line is: it helps. Even light activities, such as a daily walk, can provide benefits.

What You Can Do

The American Cancer Society recommends that cancer survivors get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise at least five days each week. Here are some suggestions for fitting exercise into your day:

  • Start a daily walking routine. Wear a pedometer, and try to go a bit farther each day.
  • Walk or bike to your destination, when you can.
  • Exercise with family, friends, or co-workers.
  • Use a stationary bicycle or treadmill.
  • Create your own wellness plan that includes exercise and a healthy diet.
  • Explore additional ways to become more active. Dana-Farber offers many programs for cancer survivors to get and stay fit.

Before starting any exercise program, be sure to check with your physician.

Courtesy of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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