Is Exercise or Rest More Effective for My Fatigue?

Question: Which is more effective at reducing fatigue, rest or exercise?

Answer: You may find this surprising, but exercise is more effective in reducing the fatigue related to cancer treatment than rest is. Most people think that when they get cancer they're sick and so they should rest and give their bodies a chance to recover from the disease; but in fact, research has shown that exercise is a much more effective way of treating the fatigue related to cancer treatments than rest is.

In fact, it doesn't need to be vigorous exercise or any kind of fancy program. Some of the research was done on women with breast cancer who just did an ordinary walking program -- walking in their neighborhoods with a friend or a relative -- during cancer treatment. And that was very effective. So unless your doctor tells you that you really cannot exercise, this could be a very effective way of managing the fatigue that you experience during treatment.

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Next: If I work during my breast cancer (radiation and/or chemotherapy) treatment, will that affect my chances of survival?

Previous: How is cancer related fatigue different from everyday fatigue?

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