It’s natural to feel a little hesitant about embarking on an exercise regime following a diagnosis or treatment. So to help ease your worries, here are a few common myths around exercise and cancer.

Myth 1. You’ll only gain health benefits after 30 minutes of continuous activity

This is untrue. If you undertake three 10-minute sessions of physical activity throughout your day, then you’ll still reap the benefits. For example, you can add more exercise to your day by taking a 10-minute walk before breakfast, during lunch and after dinner. You can also add more incidental exercise to your day, by parking your car further away from the train station or bus stop; or by taking the stairs instead of the elevator; or by walking to a café that is farther away than your usual, to buy your lunch.

Myth 2. There is no reason to exercise after the age of 50

This is false. Regardless of your age, exercise can deliver health benefits. This could include prevention of brittle bones, some cancers, high blood pressure and heart disease. It can help enhance balance, which is a common cause of falls and injury in people aged 50 or older. Exercise can even help prevent join pain or creaks and may contribute to living longer and healthier.

Myth 3. It’s gotta hurt in order to work!

This is absolutely untrue. You should never feel in pain or out of breath while exercising. If you do, then you are exercising too hard and should stop immediately. Over-exerting yourself can damage your joints. Health benefits will be obtained from physical activity that is moderate in intensity. This may include brisk walking (as if you are like late for an appointment), or any other activity that causes you to breathe harder but not to the point where you are actually or nearly out of breath.

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