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Why be more active?



When you are living with or after cancer, becoming more active can be a positive change to make in your life.


Research suggests that being physically active, along with eating a healthy diet, can help reduce the risk of recurrence for some cancer types and increase survival. It also helps reduce the risk of developing other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.


Being active before, during and after treatment can:


• reduce tiredness (fatigue)

• improve your quality of life

• help look after your heart

• reduce anxiety and depression

• help you maintain a healthy weight

• strengthen your muscles, joints and bones

• improve your flexibility and help keep you supple

• increase your confidence.


At first, you might be nervous about starting and building up your activity, especially if you haven’t been active for a while. You may worry that you are too tired, don’t know how to start or don’t know what is best for you to do. You may also be concerned about injuring yourself. But even a little physical activity is better than none at all. It can help you feel less stressed and lift your spirits if you’re feeling low. It will also help you feel more in control, because you are doing something positive for yourself.



Before treatment

If you know you are going to have surgery, your doctor might encourage you to start some physical activity before your operation. This may help with your recovery. 


During treatment

During treatment, it is best to avoid sitting or lying for long periods in the daytime. It is a good idea to do some gentle activity, such as short walks throughout the day. During treatment you may be tired and think that exercise will make this worse. Your family and friends may advise you to ‘take it easy’. But studies have shown that if you are not active, you may feel more tired and lose muscle strength and stamina. Physical stamina is how well your heart and lungs cope with walking quickly or running for a few minutes. Regular activity will reduce the risk of blood clots (thrombosis). These are more common after cancer, especially if you:

• have recently had surgery, chemotherapy or a hormonal therapy

• spend a lot of time not moving.


After treatment

After treatment, being physically active can help you cope with and recover from some side effects.

Being physically active after treatment is a positive step in your recovery. It may help reduce the risk of certain cancers coming back. It may also help you manage and reduce the risk of:

  • late effects of treatment such as tiredness

  • weight gain

  • other health problems.

More information on physical activity available at keeping active

Greater Manchester prehab4cancer

Cancer research physical activity and cancer 

ERAS+ Benefits of physical activity prior to surgery


NHS Live-Well exercise advice 

Exercise, nutrition and wellbeing - Online Support
















Prehab4Cancer is designed to help people with a recent cancer diagnosis prepare for and cope better with their treatment. 


Designed to offer support to help you feel more in control of your situation and treatment
Supporting you to take control for improved outcomes
Evidence shows that actively improving your physical and mental health can help you recover more quickly from surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and reduce the chance of further problems during and after your treatment, as well as many other benefits.

Prehab4Cancer and Recovery Programme is a free exercise, nutrition and wellbeing scheme in Greater Manchester.  


Please clink the Prehab4cancer logo below for more information.


SafeFit Online free support service 

Going for a Run

SafeFit is a free remote service for anyone in the UK with suspicion of or confirmed diagnosis of cancer. Our cancer exercise specialists offer you advice, support and resources to maintain and improve physical and mental well-being. This includes information about preparing for and going through cancer treatment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. 

This service is being delivered in collaboration with CanRehab Trust, a third party provider who will deliver the service using their cancer exercise specialists. 

For more information and to refer yourself to this service please  clink the link in the logo below 


Macmillan RESTORE

RESTORE aims to support people living with cancer related fatigue. It provides information about things you can do to help you cope with fatigue. It can also give you more confidence to manage your fatigue.



If you would like to find out more about the benefits of exercise how it can help you and what support is available, ask your GP, Health care professional, Macmillan, or specialist nurse.

Alternatively you can speak to a Macmillan information & Support team member.

We are here to listen and to help you decide what approach is right for you.  

We are here if you would like more information about this and other services to find the sources of help and support which are right for you. 

Tameside Macmillan information & Support

0161 922 5644  email 


Or by using the contact us section

Live Active offer advice and support sessions for people looking for more information about exercise.

Appointments and drop in sessions are available however please call 0161 922 5644 before making a special journey to ensure that the session is available. more information is available on our events page.

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