There are three general parts to an exercise session.


The aim of a warm-up is to warm your muscles and to raise your heart rate slightly. This prepares your body for further activity. A warm-up should include 5–10 minutes of low-intensity aerobic work mixed with some light stretching. Walking outside or using indoor equipment are good warm-up activities. Before strength training, use light weights to warm-up.


This is the part of an exercise session when the work is done. It should include activities from the three types of exercises:

  • aerobic exercises.
  • strength-training exercises.
  • flexibility exercises.

Some people may need to exercise their pelvic floor muscles. This is especially important for those with leaking or incontinence issues.


The cool-down allows your heart rate and blood pressure to gently return to normal. It also helps your body and muscles lose the heat gained during the activity. After an aerobic exercise session, cool down with 5–10 minutes of relaxed activity such as slow walking or cycling, and after strength training, cool down with light stretching.

Choosing an exercise program

Find an exercise program that you enjoy, and that matches your current fitness level and what your doctor says is safe for you. Try to include both aerobic exercises and strength-training exercises in your weekly exercise program. This combination will ensure that you cover all aspects of your health and fitness. Adding more incidental activity into your day is also beneficial (e.g. walk to the shops, use the stairs). The important thing is to keep active.


Cancer Council. (2019, March). exercise for people living with cancer. Cancer information and support | Cancer Council. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from

cancer exercise specialist