Motivation to Exercise

Start with small steps to improve physical activity in your life. For example, try walking or taking the stairs more often in your normal routine. If there are times that you don’t feel like exercising because of lingering treatment side effects, such as fatigue, that’s alright, don’t feel guilty. Do what you can, and remember that rest is also important to your recovery.

Discuss how you can get started in an exercise program while you recover and adjust to your new normal with your healthcare team. Find physical activities that are appealing and enjoyable to you. Here are some ideas that can help you get started:

  • Wear a pedometer to track your number of daily steps.
  • If you plan to return to work or school, try walking, cycling, or roller-blading as part of your daily commute.
  • Try taking the stairs over using the elevator or escalator.
  • Start a lunchtime activity club at your work, school, or neighbourhood.
  • Stretch throughout the day to relieve tension from sitting for long periods of time.
  • Walk to a friend, classmate, or co-worker’s home or office to talk to them rather than doing so by phone or email.
  • Swap 30 minutes of television or internet time for a 30-minute walk each day.
  • Use an exercise machine while watching television.
  • Instead of watching your kids play tag, soccer, or other sports, join them.
  • Turn social events into physical activity (eg, instead of watching a movie, go to the park to walk, run, or play Frisbee).
  • Join a local sports team.
  • Set a goal and make a plan – pick a time and a place, and get active.
  • Be accountable – book a date with a friend to keep on track and stay motivated.
  • Find other lymphoma or cancer survivors who share the same physical activity interests in your area.
Click here to download the "Motivation to Exercise" Tip Sheet.

References:

Canadian Cancer Society. Physical Activity
Accessed May 22, 2014

Mayo Clinic. Cancer survivors: Care for your body after treatment
Accessed May 22, 2014

Kushi LH, Doyle C, McCullough M, et al. American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention
Ca Cancer J Clin. 2012;62:30–67