This Is How Much Exercise You Should Be Getting When You Have Breast Cancer

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Exercising on a regular basis is part of living a healthy lifestyle, and doctors even recommend that breast cancer patients stay active during treatment, although the ways in which they’re able to be active may be limited. However, finding the energy and motivation to work out while undergoing physically taxing treatments such as chemotherapy can be a challenge.

Doctors recommend that breast cancer patients and recoverees get about 150 minutes of exercise a week. But a study published in the journal Cancer found that about a third of women currently going through cancer treatment or recovering from their battle don’t reach that amount regularly, if ever.

Women can achieve this level of physical activity any number of ways, including through yoga, jogging, walking or biking. Even simple stretching can be considered exercise for those patients who are severely limited in their mobility or energy levels during rigorous treatment. There are even exercise classes in some areas of the country that focus on the specific needs of cancer patients. The focus isn’t on the kind of activity patients do, as long as they do something to stay active. However, only 35 percent of the 1,700 women surveyed in the study met their 150 weekly minutes.

“Physical activity after a breast cancer diagnosis has been shown to improve a patient’s chances of survival, and there is also some evidence that it may help to reduce the risk of breast cancer returning,” Caroline Dalton, of the U.K. charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, told BBC News. “Keeping active may also help patients cope, both during and after treatment, by improving general health and well-being.”

If you’re concerned about not being able to get enough exercise during and after your treatment, talk to your doctor about your treatment options and recommended exercises.

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