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Exercise and Educate

Intended Audience

All members including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers.

Program Description

This upbeat multifaceted program uniquely combines exercise with education to deliver just the right blend of physical and mental stimulation. Specifically tailored for cancer survivors and significant caregivers, the program promotes self empowerment and is based on extensive evidence supporting the vital role of physical activity in the healing process.

This program was developed in collaboration with Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed and the University of Calgary Health and Wellness Lab.

“Exercise gives me more energy and flexibility.”

“The facilitator is very knowledgeable but also makes it fun to exercise. I love this class!”

“The facilitator is a great teacher/motivator. I like the fact that exercises are varied with a wide range of things to try.”

Benefits and Impact

The benefits of exercise have long been celebrated and research supporting exercise for cancer survivors is broad and comprehensive. It is well documented that physical activity can improve physical functioning, fatigue management and overall quality of life. Other benefits include reduced pain symptoms, improved body image and self esteem, and lower risk of cancer reoccurrence. In accordance with these findings, the Canadian Cancer Society recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week plus two days of strength training.

What to Expect at a Session

Classes begin with gentle effective movement along with tips on ways to exercise safely and incorporate healthy activity in everyday living. Exercises vary each class with measured attention on cardiovascular, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility and relaxation. Classes are fun, uplifting and supportive with built in degrees of challenge to accommodate members at any fitness level. Participants show up with comfortable clothing and running shoes and leave with improved strength, mobility and energy. ParQ+ or PARmed-X forms required.

Program Details


Requires PAR-Q + Form (PDF)


What the Research Says

Research shows that being more active as a cancer survivor can lead to a number of benefits. Physical activity is a safe and effective intervention throughout all stages of disease. It has been reported to improve management of cancer related stressors and side effects (Courneya et al., 2007; Jones et al., 2010; Courneya et al., 2003; Knobf et al., 2007).

Other Research:

  • Courneya, K., Friedenreich, C. (2007).
    Physical activity and cancer control
    (Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 23, 242-252).
  • Fong, D.Y., et al., Physical activity for cancer
    survivors: meta-analysis of randomised
    controlled trials (BMJ, 2012. 344: p. e70).
  • Knobf, M., Musanti, R., Dorward, J. (2007).
    Exercise and quality of life outcomes in
    patients with cancer (Seminars in Oncology
    Nursing, 23, 285-296).
  • Schmitz, K.H., et al., American College of
    Sports Medicine roundtable on exercise
    guidelines for cancer survivors (Med Sci
    Sports Exerc, 2010. 42(7): p. 1409-26).
  • Speck, R.M., et al., An update of controlled
    physical activity trials in cancer survivors:
    a systematic review and meta-analysis (J
    Cancer Survive, 2010).


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