New tool helps survivors set, reach exercise goals

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New tool helps survivors set, reach exercise goals
New tool helps survivors set, reach exercise goals

A brochure from the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center in Aurora helps cancer survivors meet exercise recommendations that can improve their quality of life. 

General Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors provides guidance for choosing an exercise, setting short- and long-term goals, monitoring progress, and revising goals as needed. The brochure addresses such questions as "Why should I exercise?" and "What's a good long-term exercise goal?" It also includes a sheet for tracking weekly physical activity and exercise intensity level. 

According to brochure authors Catherine M. Jankowski, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center, and Ellyn E. Matthews, PhD, RN, of the CU College of Nursing, a major challenge for cancer survivors is the belief that exercise will compound the fatigue they may experience as a result of their treatments, but Jankowski and Matthews contend that the reverse is true: In persons with cancer, as in the general population, exercise can actually reduce tiredness. The exercise recommendations in the brochure are similar to those for persons without cancer, but acknowledge that cancer survivors might need more time and support to reach their exercise goals.

"Our program is geared toward small steps, reaching goals, and then modifying them as needed," explained Jankowski. "You have cancer survivors who overestimate or underestimate their abilities, or fear returning to exercise."

The brochure, available at
journey/docs/general_exercise_brochure_v5.pdf, is endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine. ONA

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