How to move more throughout the day

How to move more throughout the day

When you’re going through cancer treatment, it’s common to experience pain, fatigue and weakness that make physical activity the last thing on your mind. However, moving more throughout the day can relieve tight muscles, boost your energy and improve your mood.

“Being active has a way of mitigating cancer treatment symptoms,” says Joel Hardwick, ACSM EP-C, EIM2, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center. “It can take some time to get used to increased activity, but over time, you’ll be able to manage the symptoms of your therapies better.”

Hardwick leads the PINK at Piedmont exercise program for women undergoing breast cancer treatment. He notes that participants feel better after class than they did when they arrived.

“Physical activity and exercise help your body release endorphins, get your blood circulating to move along bad metabolites, reduce stress and bring oxygen to your muscles,” he explains. “When you take care of yourself, you’ll help your body heal.”

How to move more

Physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean exercise, especially if you’re undergoing medical treatment. Instead, it’s about getting up and moving more during the day. Hardwick recommends setting a timer to go off each hour and standing up and moving for just five minutes.

These activity breaks can also boost your productivity and reduce fatigue.

“If you stare at a screen for two to three hours, every hour you’re becoming less productive and more fatigued,” explains Hardwick. “If you give yourself a five-minute break to get your blood flowing, you’ll give your mind and body a chance to reset.”

Incorporate these activities into your day as you’re able to:

  • Walk around the house while talking on the phone

  • Clean or do chores

  • Walk up and down the stairs

  • Garden

  • Stretch

  • Go for a quick walk around your neighborhood

  • Follow an online chair yoga video

  • March in place while watching television

  • Walk the dog

  • Do calf raises while cooking or waiting in line

  • Meet a friend for a walk instead of lunch

“Doing anything other than sitting will be good for your mind and body,” he says.

See more fun, feel-good ways to get moving.


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