General recommendations for physical activity of the healthy and ill

Ten reasons to exercise during the treatment of chronic diseases, such as e.g. cancer.

  1. Maintaining and even increasing physical fitness, strength and condition;
  2. Prevention of muscle loss and recovery of muscles and other body cells (e.g. immune cells);
  3. Improved blood circulation and lower risk of thrombosis which often accompany chronic diseases and inactivity;
  4. Reduced risk of developing degenerative and other chronic disease;
  5. Maintaining a good quality life during (oncological) treatment;
  6. Reducing chronic fatigue;
  7. Maintaining autonomy and independence;
  8. Less depression and anxiety;
  9. Better self-image;
  10. More possibilities for establishing social contacts.

Aerobic exercise improves the functional capacity of the circulatory system, heart, muscles and metabolic processes, which leads to greater body stamina. It has very positive effects on the immune system. An example of such exercise are endurance sports, such as
  • walking,
  • running,
  • cycling and
  • cross-country skiing.
Strength training, e.g.
  • gym exercises and
  • fitness exercise,
especially increases the capacity of muscles and structures that are connected to them. Strength exercises should be a part of regular exercise 2-  to 3-times per week.

Every training should start with warming (basic warming up exercises for the whole body, light running or brisk walking). Part of the training should also include exercises for general flexibility and joint mobility, as well as stretching exercises.


The patient should practice according to his abilities, without getting extra tired. He or she should follow the basic principles of physical activity and practice according to their abilities.

American Sports Academy recommendations for the chronically ill:

20 to 60 minutes training 3- to 5-times a week.

They should start with 15 minutes of exercise, and then gradually extend the time. If such training is too strenous, they should begin with 5 minutes of exercise three times a day and gradually extend the training until they reach 20 to 30 minutes of exercise three times a week. Exercise should always be started with warming-up and at least three times a week, the patients should try to include strength exercises.


If you have a chronic disease, it is recommended to record physical activity. Disease-specific metabolic changes often occur in our body and hinder an effective body recovery after exertion and accelerate degradation processes in it.

The patient should NOT exercise:

  • if the patient is anaemic or has an increased risk of infection due to the small number of white blood cells,
  • if the electrolyte levels are not normal (this is often the case with vomiting or diarrhea),
  • if the patient has pain, breathing difficulties or severe problems from heart disease or circulatory system,
  • if the symptoms control of disease or treatment, e.g. pain, nausea, vomiting, is poor.