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Nutrition and Exercise

Exercise is usually safe during and after treatment for cancer. Be mindful that your strength and endurance for exercise may change during your treatment. Watch our nutrition and exercise video for some tips on how to incorporate exercise into your day.

Key strategies to assist you with nutrition and exercise:

  • Discuss with your treating team if you are unsure whether it is ok for you to exercise.
  • Start slowly and build up your activity level– it is normal to feel a bit sore in your muscles after exercise but the soreness should not persist.
  • Set realistic goals for exercise.
  • Be active every day in as many ways as you can e.g. park the car a bit further away to increase the distance walked.
  • Keep hydrated during and after exercise - have a water bottle close by.
  • Eat carbohydrate and protein foods after exercise to assist with muscle recovery.

Who can help?

Physiotherapist exercise physiologist

Eat carbohydrate and protein foods after exercise to assist with muscle recovery. Try some of these post exercise food ideas:

  • Lean chicken breast wholemeal roll with salad (~265 kcal, 20 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate)
  • Tuna and 1/4 cup cottage cheese on crackers (~275 kcal, 25 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate)
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich (~475 kcal, 6 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate)
  • Protein shake or smoothie (~200 – 350 kcal, 15 – 20 g protein, 15 – 35 g carbohydrate)
  • 150 g Greek yoghurt and fruit e.g. berries (~200 kcal, 15 g protein, 15 – 20 g carbohydrate)
  • 2 tbsp. nut butter and apple wedges (~330 kcal, 8 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate)


Peanut butter oat bars

Recipe: by Emily Greenfield, clinical dietitian – Royal North Shore Hospital


50g almond meal (or another flour of your choosing) 200g rolled oats 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp cinnamon a pinch of salt to taste a handful of chocolate chips (optional) 1 tbsp of chia seeds (optional) 2 large eggs whisked 175g crunchy peanut butter 1/2 cup of runny honey 1 tsp vanilla essence


Whisk the eggs, honey, peanut butter and vanilla essence together until well combined. Stir in the baking powder and cinnamon then mix in all other dry ingredients. Flatten mixture into a lined small baking tray and place in the oven (heated to 160°C fan assisted) for 15-20 mins. Tip: don't bake for too long as this can dry the mixture out.