Cardio-Oncology: Cancer Treatment and Exercise

How to Exercise

Making Progress

Your body is incredibly resilient and adaptable! You will likely notice that the more you exercise the easier it becomes. This is a good sign! However, to get the most out of your exercise, you need to keep challenging your body. Although this may sound intimidating, it really is not that difficult. Remember the basic elements of exercise: frequency, intensity, time, and type. Any time you notice an exercise getting easier, all you need to do is change one of these basic elements. Here are some examples:

  • Try adding an extra bike ride or walk into your schedule. Take an extra 15-minute walk before or after work — or even at lunch.
  • Try walking a little faster or changing your route from a flatter path to one with a few small hills.
  • Try increasing your exercise time by a few minutes or adding a few blocks to your route. 
  • Try changing up your exercise. If you are used to walking, try jogging for a few minutes during your walks. If you are used to working with resistance bands, try adding some dumbbells or body-weight exercises. 

The key here is to remember to keep it safe and simple: Only change one thing at a time. Doing so will help ensure that you do not injure yourself by overtraining. It also will help you keep track of what changes work best for you. If you have any concerns with exercise or unclear how to star, talk with you healthcare team and they may create an exercise prescription for you.

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Published: September 2018
Authors: Scott C. Adams, PhD; Lee W. Jones, PhD; Jessica M. Scott, PhD
Medical Reviewers: Peggy Anthony; Jennifer Klemp; Bonnie Ky, MD, MSCE, FACC

These modules were developed in collaboration with the Eastern Cooperative Group—American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ECOG-ACRIN) Cardiotoxicity Working Group and Patient Advocacy Group.

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