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Aerobic exercise

In a person without chronic illness, like cancer, guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes each week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise: this can be broken down into 10 minute bouts, if this is more manageable.

However, it is important to set realistic and achievable goals, especially in people who are not as fit as they were or who have liver cancer.  Set your goals and try and gradually build up to these – the more physical activity/exercise undertaken, the better!

Moderate intensity activity should:       

  • Raise your heart rate
  • Make you breathe faster and harder
  • Make you feel warmer
  • Leave you able to talk, but not able to sing

Moderate intensity can include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Exercise classes

Resistance (strengthening) exercise

Guidelines recommend resistance exercises that target the main muscle groups on at least 2 days each week.

The videos below show a range of exercises you can do at home.

Exercising Safely

  • Before exercising, consider the activity and environment to help prevent falls.
  • Make sure you have good lighting and no loose rugs at home.
  • Exercise must be performed regularly to have any benefit. Try exercising little and often. You could aim to gradually increase your exercise levels until you are able to exercise for 30 minutes a day on 5 days each week.
  • In the beginning, choose exercises you feel you can manage and don’t over exert yourself – start with just 5 or 10 repetitions of your chosen exercises.

The benefits of these activities must be considered along with the risks. Whether to perform these activities or not is your decision. It may be possible to modify these activities to reduce the risks of injury.

Feeling a little sore after exercising is normal and this feeling can persist for a couple of days. This usually indicates you have done more than usual and is likely to lead to improvements in your fitness as well as strengthening your muscles and bones.

  • Pain that continues beyond a couple of days without improvement could be a sign of injury.
  • Arrange to discuss your symptoms with your doctor if you are concerned that you may have injured yourself whilst exercising.
  • Stop if the exercise becomes painful.

At Home Workouts

You can create your own workout using some of these exercises demonstrated by Dr Sam Orange, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at Newcastle University.

Try exploring links to workouts available on external websites

Chair poses for everyone

This is a very gentle, chair based yoga flow that is accessible for everyone. You can opt to stay seated throughout the video and modify or only partake in exercises that you feel comfortable with.

It is a great practice for seniors, people with limited mobility or anyone that is new to yoga and will help with increasing mobility, flexibility and strength.

You can find a lovely moment of relaxation whilst sitting at your desk or in a chair at home - Hannah Marshall, Sports and Development Officer at Tynemouth College

Special Considerations:

Osteoporosis - Getting your bones into shape!

 

Bone can grow stronger in response to weight bearing exercise (exercise where your body weight is supported through your arms or legs e.g. walking). Resistance exercise involving pushing or lifting objects can also help bones to grow stronger.

Such exercises can help to strengthen the bones, making them more resistant to everyday stresses and strains as well as reduce the chances of you falling. It is also important to perform exercises that help to improve your fitness, coordination, balance and muscle strength. 

 

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones lose their strength and are more likely to break. This is often the cause of the broken bones that many older people suffer after only a slight fall.

Between 12 and 55% of people with liver disease are believed to have osteoporosis. These numbers are higher if you take drugs like steroids.

 

Improvements are only gained if the body is exposed to activities that are greater than what it is used to doing.

 

 

 

Posture

Whilst sitting on a firm chair, practice straightening your back by sitting up tall then curling your back by slouching down. Move as far as you can comfortably. Think about how it feels to be upright and how it feels to be slouched. Try to practice the upright position for a few seconds little and often throughout the day.

There is no perfect posture! Our bodies like to move and don’t like staying in the same position for too long. Conditions such as osteoporosis encourage us to slouch. Practicing sitting or standing up tall helps to relieve tired muscles and joints by changing their position.

Exercises to avoid if you have osteoporosis:

  • If you have been told you are at high risk of breaking a bone you may be advised to avoid high impact exercise such as running, jumping or skipping.
  • Exercises involving bending forwards (touching your toes or sit ups) may also carry an additional risk.
  • Exercises or activities with an increased risk of falling should also be considered as having a higher risk of breaking a bone e.g. skiing, horse riding or contact sports.

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