Being physically active can reduce the side effects associated with cancer treatment and reduce your risk of having a recurrence. Exercising regularly can also minimize your risk of developing late complications.
Maintaining a healthy weight plays an integral part in your health, as many of the common cancers are associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Once you are ready to begin an exercise program, talk to your physician about what is safe for you. Knowing what treatments you will receive and their potential side effects are important in developing your exercise plan. When in doubt, reach out to your cancer care team. We are here to support you.
The goal of the Oncology Exercise Program is to improve the cancer patient's functional capacity, strength, quality of life and to decrease any treatment related side effects through exercise.
Survivorship Exercise Gym Program
The Survivorship Exercise Gym Program is a 10-week program that follows the recommended guidelines for exercise from the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS). Based on these recommendations, the program promotes regular exercise the includes cardiorespiratory, strength, flexibility, and neuro motor exercise training beyond activities of daily living to improve and maintain physical fitness and health. Exercise recommendations by the oncology-certified exercise physiologist are tailored to the stage of cancer, treatments received, persistent and possible side effects, comorbidities, as well as current fitness level. Upon completion of this 10-week program, the participant will be able to successfully transition to an exercise program in the community and integrate exercise to daily life. Eligible patients must have completed curative cancer treatment and require medical clearance to participate in this program.
Complimentary Oncology Exercise Classes
Group exercise classes are offered complimentary to our cancer patients to maintain or improve one's functional capacity, range of motion, and strength before, during or after cancer treatment. Please see complimentary group exercise class schedule.
Before and during treatment
- Avoid inactivity. Everyone’s reaction to treatment is different. There are some days when you feel better than others. Base your intensity on how you feel. If you can, take small walks and perform light stretches. Don’t overexert yourself, but try to be active whenever possible.
- If you haven’t exercised in a while or are experiencing fatigue, you may start with setting smaller goals and gradually increasing how long and how often you do the activity.
- Be active during the time of day that you have the most energy and balance between periods of activity and rest.
- Exercise is not recommended if you are anemic.
- If you have a low white blood cell count or are on immunosuppressive therapy, avoid exercising in public gyms. Do not exercise if you have an active infection.
- If you have a port or PICC line, you should avoid swimming, as this places you at a higher risk of infections. Do not perform strength-training exercises involving the muscles around the port, as this may dislodge it. Under these circumstances, it is best to work closely with your physical therapist or exercise physiologist.
- If you are currently receiving radiation therapy, avoid using pools. The chlorine can irritate your skin.
- Start by asking questions about the treatments you received and how they may impact your exercise program.
- Then set a few goals. For example: Would you like to improve your strength or balance? Or maybe you want to start swimming again.
- Decide on an activity that you enjoy and set realistic expectations. For example: If you enjoying walking outdoors, set a goal to walk three days a week for 20 minutes a day.
- Remember that it all adds up. If you are pressed for time or want to gradually build your endurance, break up exercise throughout the day. For example: Perform three 10-minute walks instead of one 30-minute walk.
- Take advantage of the programs and classes offered through Miami Cancer Institute. We are here to guide you.
Miami Cancer Institute’s team of physiologists work with your physician team to develop an exercise plan that’s right for you. We offer a number of different exercise classes.
Upcoming Classes, Programs, and Events
Our clinical expertise and dedication to delivering compassionate cancer care is only part of the journey. At Miami Cancer Institute, we offer our patients and their loved ones a wide variety of educational programs including nutritional programs and support groups, in addition to countless public events taking place in and around our communities.
"Miami Cancer Institute clearly understands the financial stress that patients and survivors go through,” said Ms. Goyla, a cervical cancer survivor. “Outside of the Institute, these programs are very unaffordable, but they make it possible."
Exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Brain Fitness Lab
The goal of the Brain Fitness Lab at Miami Cancer Institute is to restore and prevent chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment in cancer patients. Cognitive remediation training has a demonstrated benefit in restoring cognitive function in cancer survivors. The Cancer Patient Support Center developed the Brain Fitness Lab to provide customized cognitive remediation training with computerized brain-training protocols and neuropsychological interventions to restore and enhance cancer survivors’ cognitive and functional outcomes.
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