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During the COVID-19 pandemic we are all making changes to our daily lives. More time spent at home could mean we are participating in less incidental and less structured exercise. A recent study of over 2000 Australians found that 1 in 3 of us have reduced our usual amount of exercise since the physical distancing laws commenced.
Although we may need to be more inventive about how we exercise, keeping active is still within our reach. Keeping active plays a key role in boosting our immune system, maintaining a strong mental and physical health and reinforcing positive and healthy lifestyle habits.
People with cancer should be as physically active as their ability and condition allows. Research shows that exercise benefits you before, during and after cancer treatment.
Australian Guidelines recommend that you should aim to be active on most, if not all days. You should minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
Your weekly activity should include a combination of:
If you currently do no physical activity, it is best to start slowly. Exercise at a low intensity with plenty of rest intervals. Gradually build up to the recommended amount.
Key Tips for a Home Workout:
Warm up, Cool down and Stretch
Before you get into your workout, it’s important to warm up. Just a few minutes of light activity is all you need. Walking or jogging on the spot, deep breaths, leg swings, shoulder rolls, pumping your arms, controlled punches, body windmills will loosen your joints and warm up your muscles.
After your workout, cool down in the same way but at a slower tempo. This is also a great time to stretch any tight muscles, holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds.
Part 2 will cover : Home Aerobic Exercises, Home Strength Exercises, Activate in your Workspace, Virtual Exercise and how to stay motivated.
If you feel unsure of where to start, the oncology physiotherapists and exercise physiologists at Ramsay Health Plus Hollywood can tailor a specific home exercise program for you, either in our clinic or via Telehealth. Contact us on 9346 6932 to learn more.
About the Author
Lizzie Eastwood is a physiotherapist and advanced lymphoedema practitioner. She has worked in oncology, palliative care and rehabilitation at Hollywood Hospital for 13 years. She is passionate about partnering and empowering her patients along their cancer journey. Lizzie is the lead oncology outpatient physiotherapist at Ramsay Health Plus Hollywood.