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Exercising before, during, and after breast cancer

Exercise should be an important part of your daily life before, during and after breast cancer. However, exercise during and after breast cancer treatment may look very different than how you exercised before treatment. With all exercise regimens, it is important to always follow medical advice and before starting any new exercise plan you should speak with your physician. Here are some expert tips to help you stay healthy during every stage.

Before Breast Cancer

Exercise is important in decreasing your risk of developing breast cancer. A higher BMI is a risk factor for breast cancer and exercise can help keep that number within a healthy number. Regardless of whether you are an expert athlete or beginner, there are recommendations from researchers. For all adults under the age of 65 years old, exercise five days per week for 30 minutes each day at a moderate intensity. For someone who is a beginner, this could be a walk around Audubon Park or a round of golf in City Park, as long as your heart rate is elevated.

During Treatment

Studies show that breast cancer survivors who increased their exercise levels and exercised during breast cancer treatment, decreased breast cancer-associated mortality risk by 26%. Exercise also reduced fatigue, increased energy and mood, and improved mental health.

However, exercising during treatment can be challenging. Your overall health and physical condition before diagnosis and after the start of treatment will determine your ability to exercise. It is important to always listen to your body and stop when feels best. Speak to your doctor about working with a physical therapist or trainer during treatment.

After Treatment

Once treatment has concluded, you should talk with your cancer care team to determine an appropriate plan for exercising after treatment. It is recommended that you get 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week as before breast cancer treatment. However, after breast cancer treatment you may still feel week or recovering. Start small with a few minutes per day and then move up to 150 minutes per week.

Interested in learning more about staying healthy before, during and after cancer treatment? Click here to explore the Touro Health Library website.

Sources: Susan G. Komen