Most of us know the many benefits of physical activity by now: improved cardiovascular endurance, lower blood pressure, reduced depression and anxiety, and improved self-esteem and body image, to name a few. But despite these benefits, working out or going for a brisk walk is often the last thing people coping with cancer want to do.

The initial shock of the diagnosis, in addition to coping with chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, can shatter cancer patients’ sense of control over their own bodies, explains Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed, a Heritage Population Health Investigator. Farther down the road, they face more challenges in getting regular exercise: debilitating fatigue can last up to five years after treatment; and psychological barriers, including stress and depression, can be overwhelming. “What we’re really interested in is giving them back a sense of control of their lives that has been diminished by this cancer diagnosis and treatment and, by doing that, improving their overall quality of life,” she says.
From AHFMR for full article: