Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind and your mood


Exercise during and after cancer treatment has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing and improve your ability to cope with the side effects of treatment. ​

When you are less active your muscle strength and fitness decrease. A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist are the best people to assist you to develop a program designed specifically for you. Ask your specialist doctor or nurse to refer you.​

How much exercise?

EXercise MEDicine is a program for people with cancer. The recommended amounts of exercise to achieve the greatest benefits are: ​

  • 20 to 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week) – Do activities you like: walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling​
  • 2-3 sessions of weight training or muscle strengthening ​

Some days you may not feel up to exercising but you may be able to manage some gardening, walking a little way or doing some stretches while you are sitting or lying down.

Doing any amount of exercise is better than not being active at all.​

I love running because it clears me, I don’t think ever about the illness or anything when I’m running. And when I exercise now I actually feel great again, I function really, really well.

Natalie, 46yrs with pancreatic cancer

Gentle Exercise

There are many forms of gentle exercise that can be incorporated into your day to day life​.

You may have experienced and enjoyed gentle exercise. Trust yourself and your instinct. Start slowly with exercise and assess how you feel afterwards. You are the best judge of your body – if you feel you are gaining some benefits you might want to do these gentle exercises weekly or daily. Many people and cultures start their day with a short exercise practice.​

Tai chi, qi gong ​

The ancient Chinese practices of tai chi and qi gong combine slow, deliberate movements, meditation, and breathing exercises. They can also help restore your energy, called chi or qi (pronounced “chee”)​.


Yoga originated in ancient India. Yoga is a spiritual practice which includes breath control, meditation, and specific body postures. Yoga is widely practised for health and relaxation.

There are many types of yoga schools and practices. Hatha yoga is a gentle practice. If you are new to yoga, hatha yoga is a great starting point to practicing yoga.​

riding bikes

The body benefits from movement and the mind benefits from stillness

Sakyong Mipham

Where To Exercise

The place that you do your exercise can be important, a quiet room… in a garden .. in a pool.. with music. You might like exercising alone or in a group. The environment you are in can contribute to feelings of calm and wellbeing. ​