Why exercise IS good for you


Good news from The Doc:

There is more and more more evidence around the benefits of taking exercise when living with and after cancer is emerging. Researchers have been studying the impact of different types of exercise, from yoga, walking and dancing, to high intensity interval training and even extreme sports, on people during and after cancer treatment. Although most studies have focused on people with the commoner cancers like breast and prostate, some now include people with any type of cancer.

It’s clear that exercise can help the wellbeing and quality of life of people after their cancer treatment, and there’s some evidence that it can help to improve the symptoms that people can continue to have after their treatment, such as tiredness (fatigue), stress and anxiety, and discomfort. There’s also some early evidence that exercise can even reduce the risk of cancer coming back.

There’s a lot more work needed to identify whether different types of exercise have different effects and on people who’ve had different treatments for different types of cancer. For instance, people who’ve had hormone treatment for breast or prostate cancer may well be at increased risk from thinner bones or osteoporosis, and impact exercise such as walking, dancing or resistance training has been shown to improve their bone health.

The minimal recommendation is 75-150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise, with at least two resistance training sessions each week. (walking, running or even a spell on the cross-trainer – whatever has an impact on your bones as well as your muscle). But in Australia and the UK at least 50% of people living with and after cancer are completely inactive, and could benefit from a personal exercise plan.

So, how can you find out about the frequency, intensity, type and timing of the exercise that would best suit you? In England Macmillan Cancer Support has been working hard to spread the word about the benefit of exercise. Look at the ambition on their website: ‘to ensure that everyone living with and beyond cancer is aware of the benefits of physical activity and enabled to choose to become and stay active at a level that’s right for them.’ Click on the link to visit their website:


2 responses to “Why exercise IS good for you

  1. Reblogged this on Embody Peace and commented:
    You might like to know about a new research study that has to do with cancer and exercise – specifically aerobic dance and weight loss. Here is the abstract. The full article is published in the Journal of Cancer Therapy: Journal of Cancer Therapy, 2014, 5, 1031-1038
    Published Online October 2014 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/jct http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jct.2014.512108
    Purpose: Weight loss after breast cancer diagnosis has been associated with a decrease in risk of breast cancer recurrence and mortality. The purpose of this study is to examine the barriers, ac- ceptance, and sustainability of an exercise intervention program offered at our institution to over- weight women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. Methods: The Breast Cancer Database was queried for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer and a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2. Eligible patients participated in the Moving for Life (MFL) exercise program for 16 sessions. Ques- tionnaires were administered. Statistical analyses included descriptives and paired t-tests to summarize patient characteristics and assess changes over time. Results: Of 40 patients, 22 de- clined, 18 consented and 13 (72%) completed the study. The mean age was 61 years (range: 38 – 76). The mean BMI was 31 kg/m2. After the intervention, there was a decrease in weight and BMI (p = 0.04). The average weight loss was 10 lbs. Participants reported greater enjoyment of exer- cise (p = 0.02) and decreased pain related to treatment (p = 0.05). These initial positive results were not maintained after 6 months and 1 year. Conclusions: The MFL intervention had a high rate of acceptance among overweight women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. These results dem- onstrated significant benefits of exercise immediately after cancer diagnosis and highlight the importance of developing sustainable lifestyle interventions. Interventions targeted at modifiable lifestyle factors in women with early stage disease may provide benefit that is comparable to cer- tain adjuvant systemic therapies. Therefore, adjuvant lifestyle interventions supported by clini- cians may improve breast cancer survival outcomes.


    • All the more reason to keep up the exercise and follow a healthy eating plan – I hesitate to use the work ‘diet’ as it is misunderstood!I have managed to exercise and eat healthily for a year now, giving up dairy, red meat and drinking only at weekend and have maintained a weight loss of 11kgs! And feel fit as a fiddle!


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