Exercise and Movement
Updated: May 28, 2022
Physical activity prevents muscle wasting, increases mood and coping capacity, and can reduce both fatigue and pain. Sitting has become the new smoking in terms of health.
The best programs combine aerobic, flexibility and strength-training, but anything is usually better than nothing provided that the program is “graded.” Grading the program means that you should start easy to see what you can handle and then slowly building up the intensity over time. A goal to work up to is moderate-intensity aerobic (endurance) physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on 5 days each week (150 minutes each week) or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on 3 days each week to promote and maintain health.
Daily exercise of some kind is important to prevent deconditioning, and it may enhance your immune system and mood. However, it is vitally important to not exercise so much that you exceed your daily energy limit as this can deplete your reserves the next day.
If you are able to, embark on a daily walking program. Begin with what you can handle —even if it is for just a few minutes.
After a few weeks or months of walking you may be ready to add bicycling, swimming or water aerobics or low-impact aerobics to your regimen.
Resistance exercises with light weights can help to improve muscle tone and increase endurance. Flexibility exercises like yoga can reduce muscle and joint pain.