If we had a pill that conferred all the confirmed health benefits of exercise, would we not do everything humanly possible to see to it that everyone had access to this wonder drug? Would it not be the most prescribed pill in the history of humanity?

Sallis, 2009

Physical activity is any activity that gets your body moving. It also speeds up breathing and your heartbeat. It includes structured exercise sessions and everyday activities like housework. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity that. It has a structure, is repetitive, and is purposeful - and done with a plan. The goal of exercise is improving or keeping fitness or other health benefits. It can: 

  • Strengthen muscles and bones 

  • Improve circulation 

  • Help you keep/achieve healthy weight 

  • Improve energy  

  • Improve mobility and balance 

  • Improve self-esteem 

  • Help with stress, anxiety, and depression 

  • Supply new opportunities to meet people and socialise 

  • Reduce the risk of or help manage other health conditions. 

Getting started exercising 

Talk with your oncologist or general practitioner (GP) before starting any program. They will tell you about any precautions you should take. This could be a program either during or soon after your treatment.  

It may be a while since you have been active, or your fitness level is low. In such cases, start slow, and build up bit by bit.  

An Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist is the best person to guide you. Medicare or your private health fund may supply limited cover for these visits.  

Let's Talk Exercise 

You can attend our sessions online. 

When: Last Thursday of every month 
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm 
Where: Online via Zoom

For more information, please visit the Let’s Talk Exercise page.

Safety tips for exercising with or after cancer 

  • Keep others aware of your plans/take a phone 
  • Start any new program slowly 
  • Be aware of muscle soreness afterwards
  • Be cautious of the following symptoms and get urgent medical help 
    • Pain or pressure in your chest or pain down your arms 
    • Severe shortness of breath 
    • Dizziness or fainting 
    • Irregular or unusually rapid heartbeat 
    • Nausea and/or vomiting 
    • Extreme weakness or extreme fatigue   

What sort of exercise can I do at home?

Aerobic home program 

Upper limb home program 

Lower limb home program 

Community exercise oncology programs 

EX-Med is a not-for profit organisation. It provides best practice exercise medicine programs for people with cancer. It involves an individualised program. Experienced physiologists deliver this program in local fitness centres.  

Several community and hospital-based cancer-specific rehabilitation programs are available across Australia. Find your closest centre. 

Cancer Council Victoria delivers oncology rehabilitation programs. It also delivers Cancer Wellness Programs. These programs support people living with and after cancer.  

Find a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist near you 

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