Introduction to exercise

Exercise is a form of physical activity; what sets it apart is that it is structured and has a specific goal.

Exercise is an important part of physical activity and can help with managing daily tasks and functions, such as going up and down the stairs or playing with children or grandchildren.

It has many forms; one way to structure your exercise routine is to think FITT (Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type).

  • Frequency – how often a week you will do the exercise. For strengthening exercises you will need to do them at least 3 times a week, for aerobic exercises 5 or more times a week.
  • Intensity – how hard will you work when you are doing them. Remember your rating of perceived exertion, level 4-6 is moderate activity and over 6 would be vigorous activity.
  • Time – when are you going to do them.
  • Type – what are you going to do, for example walk/jog/run or resistance exercises, circuit or interval training.

The type of exercise you choose to do will depend on the goal you are working towards. For instance, if walking up and down stairs is a particular problem then you may want to work on lower limb strengthening and endurance.

It is important that you have some way of recording or measuring your exercise routine, this helps you know how much you have done and whether there has been any improvement.

It is never too late to start exercising, however it can be a difficult process. If you are struggling with getting an exercise routine then you can speak to the Prehabilitation team about this and we will support you in this.

There is no reason why you can’t continue your physical activity during your treatment. The more you do during this time, the better the outcomes.

The following exercises will improve your strength and stamina. The plan will guide and motivate you while working towards your goal of improving your fitness. These exercises can be done at home and don’t require any specialist equipment.

Further support and help:

The advice on these pages is designed to help you prepare for the treatment ahead and support you through to recovery.

If you need further advice and support please discuss this with your key worker or healthcare professional.

  • Macmillan Cancer Support:
    0808 808 00 00
  • Maggie’s Cardiff:
    029 2240 8024
  • Tenovus Cancer Care:
    0808 808 1010
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