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It can be difficult to start or restart exercise after treatment, but beginning slowly is key. Exercise expert Lizzy Davis, who works with women on our Moving Forward course, explains how to get started.
Exercise can prepare your body for physically demanding breast cancer treatments and can help in the recovery period. It can also help you to reconnect with the ‘old you’ or adjust to the ‘new me’. Exercise has been proven to positively impact our life span and quality of life.
You might begin with some gentle stretching and focused breathing exercises to help you relieve any unwanted stress and tension.
Re-building muscle mass after treatment can help improve your balance, bone density and your overall daily functioning. It can also bring about a sense of achievement.
Start exercising gently by:
This will vary from person to person. If you haven’t exercised for some time, take it slowly. Build up and see how you feel each day.
You might like to keep a diary to log and track your efforts and note changes to how you feel. You might feel pain, discomfort, stiffness, fatigue or weakness to begin with.
It’s important to stop an activity if you experience unusual pain. Knowing your limits can help you to navigate pain and check in with yourself.
If you’re feeling pain, you might ask yourself:
Yes, absolutely. With growing access to apps, YouTube videos, books, DVDs and other websites, there is plenty of exercise guidance at your fingertips.
Be smart and safe by doing physical activities that are suitable for you and be sure to speak to your healthcare team before getting started. You can buy home-based equipment, or simply use your body weight and surfaces around your home such as walls, floors, stable chairs and stairs.
Find more exercise videos, plus other hints and tips on adjusting to life after breast cancer in BECCA, our free app: