Exercise guidelines for cancer patients

In the UK there aren’t any guidelines about exercising after cancer. However there have been many studies that show it is completely safe and possible. It’s actually been proven to help those with cancer quite a lot.


When you think about how different we all are and how many different types of cancer there actually is its going to be pretty difficult to write one set of guidelines that will cover everyone. You should never just jump right in there either, always consult with your doctor before engaging in any type of exercise.

Doctors will typically advise 30 minutes of moderate paced activity.  Its essential for those with cancer to keep up activity. It will improve your quality of life and most likely make you feel better. People commonly think exercising will just drain the little energy they have left. Regular exercise will in fact give you more energy.

Your mood

Women who had breast cancer were less likely to be anxious if they would workout at least four times a week. Studies suggest that more than 4 people out of 10 will be depressed after being diagnosed with cancer so exercise will be an excellent way of relieving the stress.


Exercising will help lower fatigue during cancer treatment. Research has found no harmful effects on patients with cancer.  Those who regularly exercise actually have 40-50% less fatigue which is usually the primary complaint during treatment. Cancer shouldn’t stop you exercising at all!

When to avoid certain types of exercise

Now obviously some types of cancer will force you to avoid specific types of exercise. There are also some situations where you need to take extra care. So for example lets say you have a form of stomach cancer you shouldn’t do much heavy weight lifting.

Cancer affecting your bones

If cancer affects your bone you could be prone to breaks or fractures more easily. You must avoid putting a lot of strain on the affected bones so in cases like this swimming or exercising in water could be better for you. Water will support most of your body’s weight so exercising won’t be as taxing on your bones.


Low immunity

People with low immunity due to the treatment will need to avoid working out in public gyms. You should make sure you discuss with your medical team about training and going to the gym.

Peripheral neuropathy

Some cancer patients have a loss of sensation or have pins and needs a lot due to cancer treatments. If this is something you suffer from it might be best to use a stationary bike instead of lifting weights. Here are some great tips for those suffering from this.

Breast cancer

Women with breast cancer can do upper body training  however it should be done with caution and performed very slowly.

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