The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Physical Activity

Taking part in physical activity before, during and after cancer treatment can have many health benefits. It can help prevent and manage some of the effects of treatment, such as fatigue, depression and risks to your heart health.

Please watch the two videos below from Vicki Gilbert, a Leeds Cancer Support volunteer specialising in Exercise and Cancer.



How Should we Keep Active?

The current guidance of physical activity levels of all adults is 150 minutes per week. It has been previously advised that this is achieved by doing 30 minutes of activity a day, 5 days a week or for a minimum of ten minutes but the most recent guidelines from the Department of Health & Social Care suggest that these 150 minutes can in fact be accumulated in bouts of any length. This means even 3 or 4 minutes of activity, for example marching on the spot whilst the kettle boils, accumulates and can contribute to the overall 150 minutes.

The activity is to be of moderate pace, such as walking. The guidance now includes doing balance and strength exercises at least twice a week. This level of activity is helpful for people even during cancer treatment. However, everyone is different and exercise needs to be tailored to you, taking into account your overall fitness, diagnosis and other factors that could affect your health.

Benefits of physical activity include:

  • Managing side effects of treatment
  • Healthy heart function
  • Reducing anxiety and depression
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Strengthening muscles and improving bone health
  • Improving flexibility and balance
  • Increasing confidence and self-esteem
  • Reducing the risk of cancer recurring

How can we Manage Fatigue?

Exercise has been shown to be the most effective way to improve fatigue. Please click on the following link for more information on managing fatigue. Click here to view more information on cancer and fatigue

Physical Activity Doesn't Always Mean Exercise

The type of activity or exercise you do may depend on what stage you are at in your recovery. It may also depend on what type of activity you enjoy doing, this could include your every day activities...

Every day activities that can be incorporated into an active lifestyle:

pepe exercise


More energetic activities could include dancing, jogging, cycling and digging the garden.

Macmillan Move More Exercise

Physical Activity Support in Leeds


Physical Activity Support Online

We Are Undefeatable

"We Are Undefeatable" is a movement supporting people with a range of long term health conditions, developed by 16 leading health and social care charities and backed by expertise, insight and significant National Lottery funding from Sport England. Their purpose is to support and encourage finding ways to be active that work with each person’s conditions, not against them.

Being Undefeatable is understanding that how you feel can change from day-to-day, that everybody’s situation is unique, and that moving more when you can is just as important as accepting when you can’t. Every achievement, no matter how small it might seem to someone else, is worth celebrating.

'We Are Undefeatable' have a wide range of online advice and support available to anyone to help get people moving in a way that's right for them. 

 Leeds Let's Get Active

leedsgetactiveLeeds Let's Get Active aims to encourage and support people who do not do any physical activity to be more active. The community programme provides free physical activity opportunities to help people get active. they develop sessions with community organisations and groups and have a timetable of a variety of activities which include:

  • Zumba
  • Walking group
  • Chair Based Exercises
  • Tai Chi
For more information about Leeds Let's Get active, contact them on Tel: 0113 3783680 or Click here to visit the Leeds Lets Get Active website 

 Where to get further support: