Keeping physically fit during cancer treatment

When battling cancer, it helps to keep yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically fit. Staying physically fit during cancer has many advantages benefitting how well you tolerate the treatments. For example, having an exercise routine during cancer treatment has many advantages:

  • Prevent muscle wasting and muscle weakness
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease
  • Improves blood pressure
  • Enhances immunity
  • Stabilizes blood glucose control
  • Increases energy while reducing fatigue
  • Helps you get a good night’s sleep.

The best way to keep physically fit during cancer treatment is to find activities you enjoy.

This helps keep you motivated and is something to look forward to. Here are other tips on staying fit and active when fighting cancer:

  • Begin slowly

Before beginning an exercise regimen, discuss your plan with your oncologist. Cancer doctors endorse physical activity while undergoing cancer treatment in most cases. But, if you were not physically active before your cancer diagnosis, ease yourself into exercise. Be mindful of your limitations of what you can and can’t do. Even 10 minutes of movement is a good start, and then gradually add more time over several weeks. 

  • Add in strength training

Even if you’ve never lifted a weight in years, it’s never too late to start. People of all ages should do strength training, a mainstay of a good workout program. Beginners should start with light weights (3-5 pounds), while those more physically fit or advanced can lift a little heavier weights (10-12 pounds). Strength training is critical for achieving and maintaining muscle mass and prevents muscle weakness helping keep you strong.

  • Have a blend of using large muscle groups along with flexibility

Work your large muscles each time your workout – legs, hips, thighs, abdomen, chest, arms, and back. Aerobic moves such as brisk walking, playing tennis, bicycling, or swimming is good examples of keeping these muscles toned and tight. Another essential part of physical fitness is stretching before and after a workout routine. Stretching helps maintain range of your range of motion along with flexibility and balance. 

  • Have fun exercising 

The most important part of working out is having fun. To stay motivated, you have to look forward to exercising, find it challenging yet achievable, and have fun as you stay fit and healthy. These components will help you be successful at fighting cancer while undergoing treatments. 


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 

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