Fighting cancer with physical activity!


In 2015, there were around 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK, the most common ones being breast, prostate, lung, or bowel cancer. However, according to Cancer Research UK, 38% of cancer cases are preventable and one of the elements which reduces the risk of cancer is physical activity! Keep reading to find out more about what physical activity options you can take advantage of in Leeds, if you’re fighting cancer!

You may already know that regularly exercising can help prevent cancer – actually the risk can be reduced by up to 20%, according to Public Health England. But it’s less well known that being active can also help to minimise the impact of cancer after diagnosis. According to Macmillan, exercise following a cancer diagnosis is associated with improved treatment outcomes. Preliminary evidence shows that being active may even improve survival rates and reduce the risk of cancer recurring.

But why and how would physical activity reduce the risk of developing cancer and be part of post-cancer recovery?

Firstly, it helps you maintain a healthy weight as well as changing the levels of hormones in your body and boosting your immune system. If you’ve had cancer and you’re recovering after the treatment, being physically active may help maintain a healthy weight and reduce side effects such as fatigue. It can also help your heart health and muscular fitness, and improve your mental health.

There are options for getting active in Leeds which are specifically tailored to people living with cancer. Active Beyond Cancer is an activity-programme for people living with and beyond cancer, offered by the Leeds Rhinos Foundation in partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research and Active Leeds. And coming soon to Leeds will be 5K Your Way, a non-profit community initiative encouraging those living with and beyond cancer (as well as their families, friends and those working in the cancer services) to walk, jog, run, cheer or volunteer at a local 5K parkrun event on the last Saturday of every month. The first one is due to take place at the Woodhouse Moor parkrun on Saturday 26 October. Please send an e-mail to to register your interest.

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