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How To Manage Fatigue

Exercise (And Fatigue)

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While fatigue can produce the instinct not to exercise, researchers have found that exercise can counter the effects of disease or treatment related fatigue. Exercise also have the following benefits: decreases anxiety, helps promote better sleep and helps maintain muscle function. Without exercise, the body can quickly lose muscle mass, function, cardio ability, stamina and strength. 

Even mild exercise such as walking several times a week can help reduce fatigue.

A few tips that other people have found to be helpful:

  • The key to appropriate exercise is consistency. Set a schedule which fjocuses on those periods of the day when you feel most energetic. Do your best to keep to it.
  • Keep a diary. Keeping track of your exercise and successes at keeping on schedule will help motivate you.
  • Exercising with a partner makes you more accountable. 
  • Listen to music or watch tv/a video. It makes exercise more fun and can distract you. 
  • Avoid mirrors if possible. There is a tendency to focus on our negative parts.

Consider locating a trainer who is experienced helping people with disease related fatigue to help design and get you started on an individualized exercise program. Modifications can be made as your health status changes.

Discuss physical exercise with your doctor before you start exercising or before you increase what you are doing.

For additional information about exercise, click here.


  • If you are considering water based exercise, you do not need equipment or even know how to swim. Some programs involve just walking in the water, floating or movement exercises.  The water provides both resistance and buoyancy. 
  • If ou are undergoing radiation therapy, it is not advisable to go into a pool. Chlorine may irritate irradiated skin.
  • If you have a PICC line, catheter or feeding tube, it is best not to go into a pool to avoid infections.

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