Getting Active and Exercising

Many people believe that if you have lung cancer, you should avoid physical activity. It is reasonable to be concerned about becoming overly active and running out of breath. Staying active and engaging in mild exercise, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to help patients better tolerate, respond to, and recover from lung cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.

Benefits of Staying Active

Putting together an appropriate program of breathing, walking, stretching, and strength training will help you deal with your sickness while also increasing your energy and endurance. You may be able to join acceptable locally organized workout programs.

Before you begin, please consult with your lung cancer team, GP, or physiotherapist if you have any concerns.

On Importance of Staying Active

It is critical to be as active as possible. This does not always imply going for a run or to the gym. There are several light activities that you may incorporate into your daily routine, such as walking with your dog, gardening, or visiting museums. Yoga and pilates, swimming, or slow running are examples of light aerobic exercises.

Please keep in mind that if you have any pain, extreme shortness of breath, chest pain/discomfort, dizziness, or light-headedness while performing these exercises, you should sit down and wait for the symptoms to subside. If these are new symptoms, discontinue the program and seek medical attention.

The most essential thing is that you don’t overextend yourself. This might be challenging, especially if you were quite active prior to your diagnosis. You may need to be patient and realistic about how much you can do today in comparison to what you could do previously. Lung cancer lowers strength and endurance regardless of fitness level.

You may notice that you are more exhausted than normal at times, especially during treatment periods. Allow your body to lead you. It is preferable to rest if you feel ‘below-par,’ than to continue and jeopardize your recuperation. Attempt to resume as soon as possible.

Exercising Your Flexibility

Regular upper-body stretching exercises will assist increase mobility in your chest and back. It also allows your lungs and diaphragm to move more freely, allowing for deeper breathing and better circulation.


  • Place one hand and one wrist over the opposing shoulder.
  • Push your elbow with your other hand.
  • Keep holding for 20 seconds.
  • Relax before repeating with the opposite arm.


  • Bend your elbow and raise one arm above your head.
  • Put your hand between your shoulder blades.
  • Grab the elbow with the other hand and press it back and down until you feel a stretch at the back of your upper arm.
  • Keep holding for 20 seconds.
  • Relax before repeating with the opposite arm.

Side Stretch

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides relaxed.
  • Raise your left arm straight up above your head as you inhale.
  • As you exhale, bend to the right, keeping your hips forward and your buttocks tucked under.
  • Extend your neck and reach as far as you can to your side.
  • Hold this position for a few breaths, concentrating on widening your rib cage.
  • Return to standing as you breath.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Exercises to Increase Strength

Strengthening exercises may aid people with lung cancer because they can strengthen muscles that have been compromised by symptoms and anti-cancer medications. Strength exercise can also help you improve your balance and posture, as well as strengthen your bones.

Biceps Curls

  • Holding a tin or weight in each hand, stand with your arms dangling down.
  • Extend your hands.
  • Elbows should be bent and then straightened.
  • 10 times through.

Bending the Knees

  • Hold both hands on a table or chair.
  • Slowly bend your knees while maintaining a straight back and flat heels.
  • Stretch your buttocks and the front of your thighs (quads).
  • Hold for a few seconds before resuming your starting posture by straightening your knees.
  • 10 times through.

Heel Lifts

  • Hold on with both hands in front of a table or chair.
  • Push up onto your tiptoes slowly, elevating your heels off the ground.
  • Slowly lower them back to the earth.
  • Rep 10 times more.


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