6 Exercises You Can Do After Your Breast Cancer Treatment

lady stretching triceps after training | Breast Cancer Car Donations

Photo by Karolina Grabowska under Pexels License 

These Exercises Can Help Prevent Cancer Recurrence

If you’ve made it through the rocky road of cancer diagnosis and treatment, you must have heaved a huge sigh of relief. Now the question is, what should you do to keep cancer from returning? Experts strongly suggest that exercise is one of the keys to staying healthy, and yes, it’s 100% safe.

Whether you’ve undergone a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or radiation therapy, it’s important to perform exercises as soon as you’re allowed to. Aside from lowering your risk of breast cancer recurrence, exercise helps ease the side effects of treatment, restore movement, and reduce fatigue. Exercise can take you back to your usual activities in no time. Plus, with its ability to release happy hormones, you’ll have a way to dispel the blues.

Depending on the treatments you’ve undergone, your doctor can tailor an exercise plan that works best for you. They might also suggest you consult with a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, or a cancer exercise specialist. Usually, this would be the case for patients who are still having a hard time using their arms fully within three to four weeks of surgery.


Exercises You Can Do After Your Breast Cancer Treatment

Every patient’s situation is different, which means that you’ll need to talk to your doctor first before starting a moderate to vigorous program. There are exercises that a patient can do right after surgery. However, others are prohibited from doing so until their drains and sutures are removed.

Before trying any of the exercises described below, be sure to keep these things in mind:

  • Wear loose comfortable clothing when you work out.
  • As much as possible, perform your exercises after a warm shower, when your muscles are still relaxed.
  • It’s normal to feel some tightness in your armpit and chest area after surgery. It should decrease as you’re doing your exercises. If it doesn’t, contact your doctor.
  • Do the exercises twice a day until you regain your normal flexibility. Performing them daily during the months after surgery can help you maintain good mobility.
  • Start exercising slowly and do more as you are able.
  • Take deep breaths as you do each exercise.
  • Don’t overdo your exercises. Rest when you need to.

Now that we’ve laid out all the guidelines, Breast Cancer Car Donations presents six exercises recommended by healthcare professionals for breast cancer patients after their treatment:

1. Elbow winging


This simple exercise targets the front of your chest and shoulders, increasing their movement.

To do this, lie on your bed or the floor. Keep your knees bent and your feet flat. Clasp your hands behind your neck with your elbows pointing upwards. Then, move your elbows apart and down toward the bed or floor. Repeat five to seven times.

2. Wand exercise


Performing this exercise regularly can do wonders for your shoulders. You’ll need a yardstick, broom handle, or another stick-like object to use as your wand.

On your bed or floor, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. Hold the wand across your belly using both hands and keep your palms facing up. Lift it over your head as far as you can. Make sure that you use your unaffected arm to lift the wand until you feel the affected arm stretching.

Hold on to that position for five seconds before lowering your arms. Repeat five to seven times.

3. Side bends


Side bends are performed to increase the movement of the trunk and body.

Sit on a chair and clasp your hands together in front of you. Slowly lift your arms over your head. See to it that your arms are straight. Once your arms are over your head, bend your trunk to the right, return to the starting position, then bend to the left. Repeat five to seven times.

4. Shoulder blade squeeze


Squeezing your shoulder blades not only increases their movement but also improves your posture. A mirror is required for this exercise.

Sit on a chair while facing a mirror. Make sure you don’t rest against the back of the chair. Place your arms at your sides and bend your elbows.

Once you’re comfortable with the position, squeeze your shoulder blades together, bringing your elbows toward your spine. Your elbows will move with you, so there’s no need to force the motion. Avoid lifting your shoulders toward your ears. Go back to the starting position and repeat five to seven times.

5. Shoulder stretch


Another way to increase your shoulder mobility is by performing shoulder stretches five to seven times a day.

Face the wall as you stand straight with your toes eight to 10 inches away from the wall. Placing your hands on the wall, “climb” it with your fingers, and reach as high as possible until you feel a stretch.

While the image shows the woman raising both arms, you can use one arm at a time to make it less painful. Also, make sure to keep your shoulders dropped far away from your ears when raising your arms. That way, you won’t be experiencing neck sore.

6. Chest wall stretch


This last flexibility exercise aims to stretch your chest. As with the previous exercises, do this five to seven times.

Stand in front of a corner and keep your toes eight to 10 inches from it. Bend your elbows and place each forearm on each side of the corner. Keep your elbows as close to shoulder height as much as you can.

Move your chest toward the corner while keeping your feet and arms in place. As soon as you feel a stretch across your chest and shoulders, you may return to the starting position. You don’t have to stretch both arms at the same time.


Other Exercises You Can Do

The exercises mentioned above are primarily designed to help regain flexibility of your arms and shoulders. You can perform other forms of exercise, but you better ask your cancer care team first about this before proceeding.

Aerobic exercise is critical to everyone’s overall health, and it’s not just cancer survivors we’re talking about. This exercise lowers the risk of stroke, heart attack, and diabetes, and it helps you lose a lot of weight. Examples of aerobic exercise include jogging, brisk walking, swimming, and biking.

Resistance training, such as lifting weights or isometric exercises, is also recommended for cancer survivors. However, since you’ll need to exert strength, this program isn’t allowed until four to six weeks after surgery, and it should be tailored to your medical condition, general health, and fitness. If you’re planning to start a weight training program, it’s probably best that you hire a physical therapist or cancer exercise coach so you’ll know the proper techniques.


This Simple Act Can Make a Huge Difference in the Lives of Breast Cancer Patients

As someone who has survived breast cancer, you know very well how tumultuous and scary a breast cancer journey is. Beating it might be your greatest accomplishment so far, and what better way to celebrate than by paying it forward? You can do that by lending a helping hand to the destitute breast cancer patients in your community. All you have to do to help them overcome the disease is by donating any vehicle you no longer need to us here at Breast Cancer Car Donations.

We’ll sell your donated vehicle and use the proceeds to help fund our nonprofit partners. These IRS-certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations cater to uninsured and financially struggling breast cancer victims. Thanks to your vehicle, they’ll be able to provide more of their beneficiaries with easy access to top medical facilities where they can undergo full treatment as well as financial assistance to cover their hospital expenses and medications.

To reward you for your charitable contribution, we’ll promptly send you by mail the 100% tax-deductible sales receipt of your car days after it gets sold. This receipt will entitle you to receive the maximum tax deduction in the next tax season.

Also, we’ll be the ones to haul your car away wherever it is in the country, and guess what? It won’t cost you a single penny!

Your act of charity will also allow you to experience the incredible joy and satisfaction of helping save human lives. It’s something you’ll always be proud of.

We accept almost all types of vehicles regardless of their age or condition. Head over to this page to learn more.

If you have any questions for us, feel free to ask by calling 866-540-5069 or you may contact us here. Visit our FAQs page to know how our donation process works.


Use Your Jalopy to Save Lives Today!

Are you ready to discard your no-longer-needed vehicle and give it a new and noble purpose? Allow us to turn it into a life-saving instrument for breast cancer sufferers. Call Breast Cancer Car Donations at 866-540-5069 or fill out our online donation form now!


Last Updated: October 2nd, 2023