Research has shown that exercise has both acute and chronic benefits to fighting cancer including improvements in the quality and quantity of the Innate Immune System, Monocytes, Macrophages, Neutrophils, Natural Killer Cells, Acquired or Adoptive Immune System, and Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes.
The following Exercise Prescription is based on affecting the acute exercise response by getting your client to exercise daily or at the very least, 6 days/week.
- Maximal Cardiovascular (Medical Professionals Only) Test
- Submaximal Cardiovascular Test
- Muscle Strength and Endurance Test
- Flexibility Test
Contraindications to Exercise for Patients with Cancer
- Hemoglobin <10.0g •dl-1
- White Blood Cells <3,000/ml
- Neutrophil count <0.5 •109ml-1
- Platelet Count <50•109ml-1
- Fever >38°C (100.4°F)
- Unsteady gait (ataxia)
- Cachexia or loss of >35% of the premorbid weight
- Limiting dyspnea with exertion
- Bone pain
- Severe nausea
- Extensive skeletal metastases
Summary of Exercise Prescription for Patients with Cancer
Training Method: Aerobic
Mode: Walking, stationary bike, or other exercises that use large muscle groups
Intensity: 50% to 85% of heart rate reserve or oxygen uptake reserve, or RPE 11 to 14
Frequency: Three to five times per week
Duration: ≥150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity or ≥ 75 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity
Progression: 30 seconds to 2 minutes per day
Goals: Increase peak VO2, total work, endurance
Special considerations during active treatment: Intensity may need to be adjusted during treatment to <50% HRR or RPE 9 to 11. If needed, divide exercise into two or three sessions per day and begin at 5 to 10 minutes.
By purchasing the "FitBit - Program Design for the Treatment, Care, and Prevention of Cancer," you will receive the complete FitBit article and FitBit Exam in your IFPA Course Library. This FitBit is worth 1 CEU (Continuing Education Unit).