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Exercising After Colorectal Cancer

Exercise After Cancer Treatment

With the wide array of cancer treatments used to treat colorectal cancer, many survivors are left dealing with side effects that could last months or years. These side effects could potentially be lessened with regular exercise but survivors can also have fear or uncertainty towards exercise during and after treatment.

According to a recent meta-analysis examining all currently published exercise intervention trials in colorectal cancer survivors, exercise is generally safe and beneficial during and after treatment for colorectal cancer. Only 1% of participants in all studies had any sort of undesirable health or medical-related event from exercise and these “events” reflected normal responses a new exerciser might experience (e.g., muscle soreness).

To improve anxiety, depression, fatigue, quality of life and physical functioning (ability to do your day-to-day activities with ease), a survivor should aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise three times per week. Alternatively, the same benefit can be achieved with a combination of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise plus resistance training (15 minutes of each) or 30 minutes of resistance training three times a week.

If physical activity is new to you, remember to start low and progress slow. Find an activity you enjoy (e.g., walking, cycling, swimming) and start with 10 minutes of activity three times a week, slowly working your way up to the minimum recommendation of 30 minutes three times a week.

To access the full article for the benefits of exercise after colorectal cancer, click here.

In partnership with the YMCA, Hally Health focuses on a variety of topics aimed at people of any age or fitness level who want to stay healthy and active. Try this sports cardio workout, that’s sure to get your heart pumping. To view all of our YMCA partnership fitness videos throughout the month, please visit or

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