Medline: 1933847

Cancer Nursing 14(5): 270-276, 1991.

Walking program for people with cancer: getting started.

Winningham ML


Having the energy to maintain functional independence and social roles is an important component of quality of life in cancer patients. Unnecessary bedrest and prolonged sedentarism can contribute significantly to the development of fatigue and may result in rapid and potentially irreversible losses in energy and functioning. Walking is an important self-care activity that can counter some of the debilitating effects of disease, treatment, and inactivity. Research on exercise for ambulatory cancer patients has been limited to moderate intensity, interval, supervised exercise programs on cycle ergometers. However, lower intensity walking can be used as a self-care intervention for individuals or groups. Cancer patients often ask questions about what kind, frequency, duration, and intensity of exercise they should perform. By teaching self-care techniques, such as keeping a walking diary and pulse monitoring to regulate activity, nurses can help patients develop safe activity practices. I also present guidelines and precautions related to safe exercising by ambulatory patients during and after treatment for cancer. (15 Refs)

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Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn
Medical Center

Dr. G. Quade