Contrary to previous medical advice, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the type of exercise most beneficial to cancer survivors, a new study has found.
University of Queensland PhD student Kirsten Adlard said that more than seven in ten cancer survivors experience fatigue that can persist up to ten years beyond treatment.
Previous medical advice for cancer survivors has focused on rest or low-to-moderate intensity physical activity.
“We were encouraged in our study to find that bowel cancer survivors were capable of high intensity exercise with no serious adverse effects,” Ms Adlard said.
“Those who performed HIIT three times a week for eight weeks experienced a significant decrease in their fatigue levels.”
“Meanwhile, those performing moderate intensity continuous exercise experienced consistently high levels of fatigue.”
The research garnered Ms Adlard an award from the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA).
COSA president Professor Mei Krishnasamy said more research is showing that exercise can help cancer survivors reduce their ongoing symptoms and improve their odds of longer-term survival.
“Research suggests exercise should be prescribed to cancer survivors just like any other medicine,” he said.
Read more about exercise and cancer recovery here. Story credit: University of Queensland newsroom.
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