Light exercise could help reduce tiredness and some side effects of treatment.

Exercise is any form of physical activity that involves using your muscles in a way which helps improve your fitness, health and well-being.

Exercising during and after treatment could help you physically in a number of ways, such as:

  • Strengthening your muscles, joints and bones

  • Giving you energy

  • Improving your circulation and blood pressure

  • Reducing constipation, fatigue and shortness of breath

  • Helping you maintain a healthy weight

Exercise could also benefit your mind in a number of ways, including:

  • Helping you to relax

  • Helping you sleep better

  • Improving your overall sense of wellbeing and quality of life

  • Reducing anxiety, stress and depression

  • Improving your concentration and making you more alert

You can adapt the amount and type of exercise that you do to suit your ability and energy levels. Any amount of physical activity is better than none, and even gentle movement could improve your quality of life. It could also make you feel more in control because you are doing something for yourself.

Regular exercise could help you to relax and sleep better at night. Even a small increase in activity could help increase your energy levels. If you suffer from painful joints, regular physical activity could ease pain by building muscle strength and improving flexibility. If your joints have a full range of movement they are less likely to feel sore.

Feelings of depression, stress and anxiety are common complaints during and after treatment. Engaging in exercise encourages the brain to produce endorphins that improve your mood and help you relax.

Being physically active after treatment is a positive step in your recovery and could help you cope with, and recover from, some side effects. It may also help to reduce the risk of you developing a new cancer and certain cancers coming back.

Check with your doctor before you start engaging in any new form of exercise.