Recently, cancer and exercise has become a topic of great interest across Australia. With new research coming out and more information available it is becoming clear that exercise is a key component of treatment. Years ago when having chemotherapy or radiation therapy it was advised to rest and relax after therapy. In recent years we have greatly moved in the opposite direction, encouraging people to stay active before, during and after their treatment.

Exercise has many benefits throughout the cycle of a cancer diagnosis. It is a great tool for managing stress, reducing side effects from treatment, increasing energy levels, reducing pain and fatigue, preparing the body for surgery, rehabilitation post-surgery and an overall increase in quality of life. Research suggests that exercise can reduce your chances of mortality or cancer reoccurring by as much as 30-40%. This is quite a significant finding and has encouraged many people to exercise.

People diagnosed with cancer are encouraged to reach the same level of exercise as those who do not have cancer. That is 150 minutes of moderate/intense exercise a week and 2-3 strength training sessions a week. Often the thought of 150 minutes of exercise is overwhelming at the start. However, try starting at a slower pace and increasing it as you can. It is important to speak to your medical professional before starting any programme to ensure it is the correct programme for you. At InnerStrength of Bayside, we run the PINC programme which utilises a mixture of Clinic Pilates and at home exercises to help you achieve your goals.

Not only is activity important once diagnosed with cancer but active lifestyle has been substantially linked with a decreased risk of colon, breast and endometrial cancer (see information here from the National Cancer Institute) with less substantial but positive results indicating the same of multiple other forms of cancer. While many people struggle to include exercise into their daily lives, often people don’t fully understand the health benefits associated. Exercise is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality (inclusive and exclusive of cancer). I believe that if the benefits of exercise were turned into medication it would be the worlds most used medication.

Here at InnerStrength of Bayside, we are accredited in PINC Cancer Rehabilitation. If you have any questions in regards to the PINC programme, feel free to contact us on 8555 4099.