Keeping active during and after treatment
Cancer and its treatments can cause physical changes such as reduced energy levels and fatigue as well as low mood and anxiety. In the past, doctors would advise people to rest as much as possible during treatment but that has changed. Evidence now shows that simple physical activity can reduce many of the side effects of cancer treatment and also the risk of recurrence in some cancer by up to 60 per cent.
Why be more active?
Being active during and after treatment can:
• Reduce tiredness and fatigue
• Reduce stress and anxiety
• Improve your mood and alleviate depression
• Help look after your heart and bones
• Help keep your weight healthy
• Improve your sleep patterns
Physical activity can help you make a positive change to your life. You may be a little nervous about building up your activity levels, particularly if you haven’t been active for a while. You may feel too tired of just not know where to begin. However, being active carries fewer risks than being inactive.
How FORCE can help
FORCE is now able to offer an individual assessment with an experienced Oncology Physiotherapist. You will receive advice and practical help and be signposted to appropriate exercise programmes, other healthcare professionals or community services. Everyone is seen individually so even if you are not particularly mobile or have concerns about other medical conditions, you can still exercise safely.
What exercise programmes are available?
There are eight-week exercise programmes – run by fitness instructors who are specially qualified in cancer rehabilitation – in a growing number of locations:
• FORCE Cancer Support and Information Centre in Exeter
• Barnstaple (x3)
• Ottery St Mary
• Physiotherapy Department at Heavitree Hospital in Exeter
• Clifton Hill in Exeter
• Riverside in Exeter
Feel free to download or print our Keeping Active leaflet.