Exercise Tips During Immunotherapy Treatment

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Years ago, cancer patients were told to take it easy. New research shows exercising boosts your immune system when fighting cancer. Here are a few tips on how to get moving while undergoing immunotherapy.

What's an ideal workout schedule? Research shows 30 minutes of cardio exercise like brisk walking, swimming, or mowing the lawn three times a week and 20 minutes of resistance training like weightlifting, rock climbing, or heavy gardening twice a week will not only boost your immune system, but also help with fatigue and quality of life during your illness.

Can't get to the gym? You can still make active choices. At work, avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time. Try a smartphone stand up reminder to get moving. Or walk to speak to a colleague instead of calling or texting. And grab a few extra steps on the way in and out of the office day by opting to park in the farthest spot.

At home, use the stairs when you can and spend less time sitting and looking at screens. Instead, finish a home project or do active chores like laundry, taking out the garbage, and emptying the dishwasher. To strengthen muscles, try floor exercises like knee lifts, foot slides, or arm circles while you watch TV.

Studies recommend starting a routine before treatment begins, especially if it's been a while since you've been active. Ask your doctor what works for you. If you can't go full throttle, break up your workout into 10 minute sessions or try yoga or tai chi to help with relaxation. And don't forget to make it enjoyable. Find a buddy or listen to music. The key is to get moving in a way that works for you.