You may experience fatigue as a symptom of your CLL16. Exercise can help reduce the symptoms of fatigue in people who have or have had cancer17.
Exercise may also make you feel better physically and emotionally, and help you cope better too21, 24, 25. Due to the increased risk of catching infections, you should avoid situations where you might catch infections such as participating in activities where there are large groups of people23. There are many ways to become active and it is never too late to start or take up activities25. You could try:
- Joining a walking group
- Cycling, dancing or gardening
- Playing a sport such as badminton, table tennis or lawn bowls
- Walking to see friends or to work
- Try stretching exercises, such as yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates
You should discuss your exercise plan(s) with your health care team prior to commencing any activities.
Ensure you warm up before exercise, stretch out after exercise and wear appropriate clothing, footwear and sunscreen for outdoor activities. If you experience any of the following sudden symptoms during exercise, you should stop temporarily and seek guidance from your health care team26:
- Feeling dizzy
- Chest pain
- A racing heart
- Breathing problems
- Feeling sick
- Unusual back or bone pain
- Muscle weakness
- A persistent headache
Set realistic goals, undertake suitable levels of exercise and most importantly do activities you enjoy!
16. American Cancer Society. Leukemia - chronic lymphocytic. April 2016. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003111-pdf.pdf. Accessed April 2017.
17. Macmillan Cancer Support. Managing symptoms of fatigue. July 2013. Available at: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/tiredness/tips-manage-symptoms-fatigue.html. Accessed April 2017.
21. Macmillan Cancer Support. If you have diarrhoea. September 2014. Available at: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/eatingproblems/diarrhoea.html. Accessed April 2017.
24. NHS. 10 stress busters. January 2016. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stressanxiety-depression/Pages/reduce-stress.aspx. Accessed April 2017.
25. NHS. The importance of exercise as you get older. July 2015. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/activities-for-the-elderly.aspx. Accessed April 2017.
26. Macmillan Cancer Support. Making sure you're safe when you're active. March 2014. Available at: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/maintaining-ahealthy-lifestyle/keeping-active/making-sure-safe-when-active.html#tcm:9-8441. Accessed April 2017.