Exercise Library

Exercise of the Month

Purpose: Improve overall health, maintaining fitness, and helps prevent cardiovascular disease. Benefit: Weight management, increased energy level, reduced blood pressure and cholesterol. EXERCISE:  Using the Elliptical Trainer is a good non-impact cardio activity. We recommend that breast cancer patients start out using the stationary ellipticals and not the arm ellipticals. This will help to avoid over-using the arm or chest regions affected by lymph node removal or reconstruction surgery. For cancer patients recovering from lymph node removal in the lower extremities, we recommend starting out with lighter resistance levels to avoid over-using the lower extremities while the body's lymphatic system maybe compromised due to lymph node removal. Gradually build up on duration before increasing resistance and elevation.
Cardiovascular Activity Suggestions: The aim of aerobic exercise is to increase your heart rate to the training range as recommended by your healthcare provider. 3 separate 10-minute aerobic sessions seem to be as effective in improving fitness and health risk profiles as a single 30-minute session
Sunflower Wellness presents this exercise with the assistance of WebExercises. A library of exercises of the month is available at Sunflowerwellness.org.

Purpose: Increase strength and muscular endurance. Benefit: Improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention. EXERCISE:  The Bird Dog exercise is useful in working on core strength, stability and spinal alignment. Breast cancer patients should keep arms directly under the shoulders to maintain alignment and protect the shoulder region. To maintain efficient core engagement, pull belly button back to the spine. This exercise is also recommended for people recovering from surgeries that affect the abdominal and pelvic floors, including gynecological and urological surgeries. It's important that you be well-healed from surgery before you start this exercise. Click here for a short video demonstration of this exercise
Starting position: Begin on the floor in the quadruped position with hands aligned under shoulders and knees aligned under hips.
Movement: Activate core. Perform bird dog maneuver, extending arm upward as you simultaneously extend the leg behind you, then return towards start position. Without touching floor, touch hand to knee and return to extended bird dog position. Repeat for recommended repetitions on same side then perform on opposite side.
Sunflower Wellness presents this exercise with the assistance of WebExercises. A library of exercises of the month is available at Sunflowerwellness.org

Purpose: BALANCE - Use it or lose it! shoulder strength and muscular endurance. Benefits: In addition to strength-training and cardiovascular exercise, it is important to include balance activities in your weekly routine. This simple and effective exercise can be done on any flat surface. It will improve ankle strength and stability. It will also engage your leg and core muscles. Balance exercises are a key factor in preventing injuries that occur with falls. Neuropathy in the hands and feet can often create challenges for cancer patients. Joint aches and pains can lead to decreased activity levels, therefore compromising balance. We all need to be doing balance work, it does a body good! EXERCISE: Step or hop onto one foot, hold for a slow 3 second count. Keep a soft bend in the knee of the landing foot. Then, step or hop laterally onto the other foot, hold 3 seconds. Repeat this 8-10 times on each foot.
Sunflower Wellness presents this exercise with the assistance of WebExercises.com. A library of exercises of the month is available at Sunflowerwellness.org

Equipment & Props

In our Exercise Counseling consultations sessions, we frequently recommend to our clients that they get specific kinds of exercise equipments and props to use at home, or to find and use in a fitness club or gym.

Please note, we do not sell any of the items described in this area and we do not endorse specific products. We simple provide this area as a courtesy to illustrate the types of equipment that our clients find helpful. Please be sure to read and follow manufacturer’s instructions and safety practices.


pedometer can be an extremely useful tool to help you track the total distance that you walk each day. In general, we encourage clients to track their progress. This type of device is fairly inexpensive and makes it easy.

Yoga mat

yoga mat is necessary if you plan to practice yoga. Many yoga studios and gyms keep extra yoga mats on-hand, often for available for use at no charge. Whether you bring your own or use one at the gym, you’ll want to bring your own towel to put on top of a yoga mat.

Many people prefer to bring and use their own personal yoga mats, which come in a range of prices and overall quality. If you’re new to yoga, you might want to try out a couple of different mats before you buy one to keep.

Yoga mats are also helpful to use when doing foam roller exercises on the floor.

Resistance band

resistance band is a highly versatile piece of equipment, usually inexpensive, that’s great for helping you to perform a variety of strength-building exercises.

Of course, you’ll want to use a resistance band with a great deal of care, as it’s essentially a huge rubber band. Don’t ever stretch it and let go — you could seriously injure yourself or someone else! (Ouch!)

Exercise ball

An exercise ball is a really useful piece of equipment for performing core work, such as abdominal crunches, with comfortable support for your back. Several sizes are available, and you’ll want to keep your ball inflated comfortably so it’s neither too soft and squishy nor too firm.

It’s actually quite fun to sit and bounce on your ball! Seriously — it will get your blood flowing and it feels great.

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We help anyone with cancer find a way to get exercise.