Does anyone go to the gym and what do you do? Read last week that cancer sufferers who exercise live longer (know this is a generalisation but reckon it cant do any harm - well not at my pace anyhow). Going to 'Pay as I go' as feel the monthly direct debit scheme as thats a bit too ambitious as feel I need to walk before I can run metaphorically speaking you understand ladies! I am on firstline treatment, had debulking nearly 6 weeks ago, 3 x chemo before and got 5th chemo next Friday.

Do not do any exercise - apart from pottering round where I live indoor and out don't have any stairs. Have the occasional short walk (and I do mean short)! So last week asked GP if she would give me a letter for gym which she has done free of charge. Says I am good to go quote 'To whom it may concern.... is able to do light to moderate exercise as she thinks fit' - 'she' meaning moi Lol - If GP knew how lazy I was she'd laugh out loud too.

So going to get of settee in a mo as been on Laptop for last hour, put on leggings/trainers and go. Got a tag key which will record my progress. Intend to set myself a little challenge on gym computer system. They have all sorts culminating with clocking up the mileage on 'the tour de france' as did that a couple of years ago but only got as far as Paris. Will set my sights a bit lower methinks for now as doubt I'd get out of Yorkshire before Christmas. Did the 'Swimmathon' challenge on the internet a few years ago and did swim the equivalent length of river Severn in pool even though it took me 12 months (was swimming about 3 miles a week I think but chemo police wont let me do that as swimming is my favourite exercise, in fact should say only exercise I actually like)

Re my strategy - anyone whose been to the gym will know they have a recliner exercise bike with big square saddle and nice backrest. Aim to start with slow warm up on the treadmill (5 min walk level 1 on gradient of 1) and 10 -15 min easy cycle on level 1 or 2 whilst watching TV (equipment has individual TV's which is crucial in my decision as to what gym if they dont have tellys I wont join as exercise is soooooo boring.

Feeling OK not much in the way of chemo side effects so here I go after I've finished my cuppa.....

19 Replies

  • Good for you :) If you can get out go out is my motto. I'm just walking everyday and bending more its helping me. xxxx Trish

  • Hi, I had a really good 1-1 with a lovely woman at the gym post chemo- she was also a Pilates teacher which I thought would be helpful given the operation I'd had. She put together a good routine including Pilates exercises to do at home. I found in the end that joining Zumba Gold (less impact than the normal) was great for me- it was fantastically uplifting to dance about and a really friendly group and although I struggled at the beginning I could really see the improvements in my stamina! Have now got a puppy and daily walks are so much more enjoyable, Good luck Sx

  • Definitely agree with you about having a dog to enjoy a proper walk! xx

  • Just wanted to add a ps to my post!! I started at the gym and Zumba gold about 6 weeks after my last chemo. I know of friends who've managed to exercise throughout but I was hit by quite extreme fatigue which worsened as I went through it. I fought against it for a long time, thinking it was psychological etc but really don't think this was the case- different folks have different side effects and putting additional pressure on yourself can be hugely detrimental.

    I walked everyday though some days it was just to the end of the road and back but a little bit of fresh air, sunshine and being upright is, I am convinced a good thing in however a small dose!!

    Swimming was ruled out for me for a long time as I was neutropenic throughout and for a while after.

    I do think the key is to find something that is right for you, no pressure but something that will boost your spirits and walking whether to the park, a beautiful view, the shops, a friends house or the pub is probably the best place to start!! Sxx

  • Many thanks for your posts like the sound of Zumba gold!

  • Dear Kazrazmataz, What a lovely thought-provoking post that's bound to excite and inspire lots of comments and feedback.

    I'm a bit of a couch potato and don't enjoy competition or sport. I also read the Macmillan stuff about doing aerobic exercise for half an hour 3 times a week to maximise survival chances. I did wonder which was chicken and which was egg.

    I cycle about a half hour or so minimum each day because that's my main mode of transport, and I walk or cycle my dog. I've also surprised myself by joining a gym recently and got a deal by paying a full year in advance. It costs me £32 a month. It has a 20 m pool so I've been going about 3 times a week and have been swimming for a half hour. I don't like the gym much but I have got a gym ball and weights at home and always mean to do the exercises I've been given whilst listening to something interesting on the radio but never seem to get round to it.

    I think the important thing is to do some activity if you enjoy it. If you don't it seems pointless making ourselves miserable with worry.

    Best of luck with your new fitness regime! xx Annie

  • Annie, have you swam whilst on chemo?

  • I didn't dare to swim because I could see the point about germs in public pools. Since then I have joined a private gym with pool and have been swimming whilst on Avastin. It may be I shall start a third line of chemo some time soon and I hope to continue swimming in the new pool unless it comes to light that it's definitely inadvisable. I think it's worth having a chat with the pool manager if you want to swim. Hope this is helpful. xxx Annie

  • Well done you! I went spinning and rowed 2k at least twice a week until all this happened. Now I just don't have any energy though I do walk to work and back as well as taking my dog for long walks. Wish I had not stoppef going. Good luck xxx

  • Well done you! I went spinning and rowed 2k at least twice a week until all this happened. Now I just don't have any energy though I do walk to work and back as well as taking my dog for long walks. Wish I had not stoppef going. Good luck xxx

  • I think you've got to do what's comfortable..I say well done for thinking about excercise so soon!! I did a bit of Zumba about 4 months post op but still ended up with an incisional hernia this February !! I'm still thinking about Pilates as I do feel I need to be stretched!!! Other than that I can still do 2-5 laps round Westfield shopping centre (with mandatory eating breaks) so I count that as excercise LOL

  • I am 59 always carried too much weight but always went to classes around three times a week , I stopped during Clemo as I can't grey surgery if I'm back on Clemo likely , I will not stop my clAsses I go out mon tues wd Thursday morning around 9 30 , my classes are Zumba FBX alternative moves , bogey conditioning ,go for coffee not back home until 12or 1 , I love the comradeship of the women whenever talk about my cancer, when I'm back on Clemo I will continue with the gym it's good for your aura and well being

  • Hi, yes I think excercise is definitely good fir you. Have an excercise bike which I use first thing in the morning for maybe 10/20mts depending on how I feel. Obviously not as good as getting out, but it's easier and the weathers not always reliable, Also do lots of doggie walking.

    Always consider excercise to be beneficial for everyone, not least all if us who desperately need to try to keep on top of the 'Beast'

    Best of luck to you at the gym, and try to keep focused on your excercises not the trainers!!! Xxxx

  • I swam throughout my chemo ! Oncologist was happy for that but not on day 10-14 when immune system at its lowest ! I also jogged when I could be bothered and rode my bike very gently and I lifted weights from 12 weeks after surgery ! I finished chemo last dec and went skiing in feb and completed the windermere triathlon in June -I was practically last though !!

  • Wow impressed about the triathlon and the swimming, I have next chemo next Thurs so will ask my Oncologist if I can go swimming as that is what I do best plus it gives me a feel good factor as I swim at least a mile (64 lengths - hope I can mnage it its been a while, Lol) Thanks v much for your post x

  • Yes! Go for it. Walk in the sun, look at clouds and flowers - all that stuff! Part of the joy of being alive. I was ecstatic when they took out my pic line and I could swim - that's low impact and very calming. I run, walk, cycle, swim - all of it makes me feel better and more normal. I think just listen to your body - if it actually hurts (as opposed to stretching you helpfully) then go for it. I have been a bit nervous of weights in the gym after major op but just about to give it a try. Good luck and enjoy x

  • I try to get outdoors to walk as it means I talk to neighbours and others, however briefly. I get down if I stay in on my own all day. I have been referred by GP to a local health fitness scheme but wasn't impressed by the woman I saw. She seemed to be more interested in filling forms in than hearing what I wanted to do and achieve. I'll try the health walks though as they are in different parts of our borough with a group. I usually walk on my own as a big group scares the birds off and i do like to see them

  • Hi there ,

    Your body will let you know what it can cope with during exercise but yes its great to do but a slow build to regain fitness .

    I walked through my chemo pain and then about three months after my chemo had finished I started weekly circuits which I am still doing now two years on . It was something I found out about through our Big C centre in Norwich . I now weigh less than I did pre cancer which has to a good thing ... Have fun but take it steady ....


  • Good for you but don't overdo it, you are still early days following surgery.

    I have appt with personal trainer at my local gym on Tuesday evening (he is qualified physio) so have confidence that he will guide me correctly. Want to get as fit as I can whilst I still feel well. Good luck. Ann xo

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