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Exercising with Sarcoma

Exercise During Cancer Treatment: 4 Things to Know

For years, doctors have recommended exercise to reduce patients’ risk of developing cancer and to help cancer survivors thrive after treatment ends. But what about exercising during treatment? There were no recommendations, until now.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently issued the first-ever evidence-based exercise guidelines for adults in active cancer treatment. The guidelines recommend regular aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging or cycling and strength training such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, for patients whose cancer has not spread beyond its initial site.

Aerobic exercise helps strengthen the heart and lungs. Resistance exercise strengthens the muscles.

Aerobic exercises should be performed at moderate intensity. This is a pace that allows you to talk but not sing. That’s compared to vigorous intensity, where you can’t say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. Set a goal of reaching 150 minutes of exercise per week.

If 30 minutes is too difficult, try 10 minutes of exercise in the morning, 10 minutes after lunch and 10 minutes in the evening.

No one knows with certainty, but exercise reduces levels of inflammation and insulin, which are linked to some cancers. Also, exercise induces angiogenesis or the creation of new blood vessels, which could mean that more blood-driven anti-cancer medicine can be delivered to cancerous tumors. Immune function also benefits. While cancer weakens the immune system, exercise boosts the circulation of immune cells that attack cancer. It may even help powerful immunotherapy treatments that work better.

The amount of physical activity each patient can handle will vary. Talk with your doctor about what’s right for you, then start moving.

To access the full article on excising during 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 Kickboxing workout that’s sure to get your heart pumping. To view all our YMCA partnership fitness videos throughout the month, please visit or