Aerobic exercise is continuous movement, using your legs, arms or both at a moderate to high level of intensity for at least 20 minutes.
The following are some of the benefits of aerobic exercise:
- Increases energy
- Reduces risk of lymphedema
- Promotes sleep
- Improves cardiovascular fitness
- Improves mood
- Strengthens bones
- Reduces hot flashes
- Maintains ideal weight
- Keeps your gastrointestinal (GI) tract regular
It is recommended that you get 20 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three times a week.
The following are some good examples of aerobic exercise:
- Jogging or running
- Using a treadmill and other aerobic equipment
Aerobic Exercise vs. Activities
Stop-and-go or low intensity movements, such as golfing, are considered activities. Although activities are beneficial, they do not provide the total body benefit of exercise and do not replace aerobic exercise.
The following are some examples of activities:
- Walking the dog
- Yard work
- Running around at work, at home or after your children
Starting a Walking Program
Walking is a safe, inexpensive and great aerobic workout. Walking also is a gentle way to begin an exercise program. When you walk, your arms move gently. Gentle arm movements are best. Keep the following in mind:
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Be aware of your posture and breathing
- Begin your walk well hydrated and drink fluids during and after
- Warm-up by beginning your walk at a somewhat slower pace
- Cool down by ending your walk at a somewhat slower pace
- Start at a level that is safe and realistic for you, and gradually build up your duration and intensity
Breast Cancer Self-Care and Recovery:
- Introduction to Lifestyle Change
- Nutrition and Breast Cancer
- Hydration: Water and Health
- Exercise Program
- Guided Imagery
- Sexuality and Breast Cancer
Excerpt from the Personal Support and Lifestyle Intervention Program of UCSF/CPMC program materials; a program of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
Basic Facts About Breast Health
Learn basic facts about breast structure and function and how to differentiate between the different types and stages of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Glossary
Check out our comprehensive Glossary of Breast Cancer terminology, which includes definitions of everything from AC chemotherapy to peripheral neuropathy.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Click now to find a summary of the factors that increase risk for developing breast cancer, including both factors that we cannot change and those we can.
Breast reconstruction, surgery to rebuild a breast's shape, is often an option after mastectomy and is covered by some health insurance plans. Learn more now.
Follow-Up Care for Breast Cancer Patients
After patients have completed treatment for early stage breast cancer, one of the common questions is, "How should I best be monitored?" Learn more here.
Mastectomy: Instructions Before Surgery
The following information will help you prepare for your upcoming Mastectomy surgery. If you have any questions, please contact the Breast Care Center staff.
Mastectomy: Instructions After Surgery
Post Mastectomy surgery instructions including, pain management, incision and dressing care, activity, diet, follow-up care and more.
Menopause and Breast Cancer
Breast cancer treatment often causes women to enter menopause prematurely. Although each woman reacts to therapy individually, certain side effects are common.
Metastatic Breast Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment
Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that originated in the breast and has spread to other organ systems in the body. Learn more here.
Navigating Your Path to Breast Care
Different services and information are needed at different points in breast health care and breast cancer treatment. Learn more here.
Osteoporosis and Breast Cancer
Women who have had breast cancer or are considered at high risk for developing breast cancer are at risk for developing osteoporosis. Learn more.
Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
The UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center and the Department of Radiation Oncology have compiled information about radiation therapy for your convenience.
Knowledge may lead you to take action to protect your health and that of other women you care about: your mother, daughters, relatives and friends. Learn more.
Breast Care Center in Marin
1100 S. Eliseo Dr., Suite 1
Greenbrae, CA 94904
Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center
1825 Fourth St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158