Exercise and Cancer: Don’t Overlook The Benefits

Today’s post is written by Guest Blogger David Haas who writes for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance web site.  

Exercise programs like Yoga can help the fatigue that comes accompanies cancer and treatments.

Exercise and Cancer – Benefits and Suggestions 

Whether you have recently been diagnosed with cancer or if you have had cancer in the past and are in remission, physical exercise is beneficial and should be part of your health routine. The National Institutes of Health recommends exercise as a way to help your body fight the cancer and to provide a healthy foundation for your body.

Benefits of Exercise

There can be no denying that cancer is a scary health condition. However, research repeatedly shows the benefits of exercising regardless of your cancer status. According to WebMD exercise provides a number of benefits for cancer patients.

Exercise can improve mood. One of the common problems for many cancer patients is depression and feelings of anxiety. Exercise releases neurochemicals in the brain that stimulate the “feel good” centers of the brain, lifting your mood naturally. Recent research has shown that depressed mood can actually contribute to repressed immune system function; so exercising to naturally lift you out of depression is a definite benefit in your battle against cancer.

Another benefit to exercise is that it can reduce fatigue. Fatigue is a major problem for many cancer patients. Exercising naturally lifts and boosts metabolism and gives your body energy, fighting fatigue.

Exercise Suggestions

Whether you are dealing with breast cancer or going through mesothelioma treatment, you can benefit from movement and exercise. If you have limited mobility try light stretching exercises or yoga. This type of exercise will increase your flexibility and help make movement easier.

Try isometric exercises or resistance training. This type of exercise will build muscle and burn fat. One of the common problems for people with cancer is that they lose muscle. If you have an especially high fat-to-lean mass muscle ratio, resistance training, such as weight lifting can be particularly beneficial.

Aerobic exercise, like walking, swimming, biking or jogging can be wonderful in building up heart health and expanding your lung capacity. Cardiovascular exercise burns calories and helps your body lose weight overall. This type of exercise helps lower the risk of stroke, heart attack and diabetes.

Even if you are currently in remission from your cancer, you can receive benefits from maintaining a healthy exercise routine. Exercise not only provides you with a healthy foundation for your overall health, but can also contribute to avoiding a recurrence of cancer. If you are currently in treatment, try to at least do some flexibility exercise to get your body moving and increase your endurance and stamina.


  1. I think this is such an important topic to address that I’m so pleased you blogged about it–and so well. I spent significant time looking into it, and if you want more research to support the help exercise provides please take a look at my post on exercise and cancer at . We can’t encourage people enough to lace up those shoes and get going.

    • Thanks Candida. It’s definitely an important topic. I appreciate your comment. I definitely check out you article.