Beginner Exercise Program

To commence your exercise journey, you will need to start at this level. Particularly if you have not engaged in structured exercise in a very long time. This program has been designed to start at a low level, and to gradually introduce you to regular exercise at the beginner level. We recommend cancer patients start at this level in consultation with your accredited exercise physiologist.


Weekly Plan

To start, it is important that you plan your “week” of exercise using our weekly exercise planner to ensure you have a clear understanding of what you wish to achieve, and to assist you in reaching your goals. You may wish to look at our example weekly plan for beginners as a visual aid, however it is completely up to you as to what times and locations you choose to exercise. The key is to simply exercise! - So try your best to set-up a daily and weekly routine that best fits in with your lifestyle and cancer treatment(s).

At the beginner level you should aim to complete three (3) aerobic exercise sessions and two (2) resistance exercise sessions each week which are short in duration (initially) and will gradually increase across the 12 week period.


Aerobic Exercise Sessions

The ultimate goal for aerobic exercise at the beginner level is to perform 3 hours per week. However, during the initial phases of this program you will complete smaller sessions to slowly build your physical ability to handle longer sessions as you improve your health and wellbeing through exercise!

To see an example of how you should progress each week through-out your 12-week exercise program, with some hints and tips to follow, be sure to read our beginner level aerobic program summary. Each week, you should download a new, aerobic exercise program card and fill in relevant information as you prepare for (and complete) each exercise session. You may wish to look at our example aerobic exercise program card for beginners to help you understand what information to add to your plans. It is important that you keep and filethese programs as you progress. This will help you see how far you’ve progressed over-time, and will give you a record of your exercise history should your accredited exercise physiologist or consultant physician request this information.


Resistance Exercise Sessions

The ultimate goal for resistance exercise at the beginner level is to perform 2-3 sessions per week which includes 8-10 exercises per session that engage major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). However, similar to aerobic exercise, during the initial phases of this program you will complete smaller sessions so that you slowly build your physical ability to handle longer sessions as your strength improves through exercise!

To see an example of how you should progress each week through-out your 12-week exercise program, with some hints and tips to follow, be sure to read our beginner level resistance summary. Each week, you should download a new, resistance exercise program card and fill in relevant information as you prepare for (and complete) each exercise session. You may wish to look at our example resistance program card for beginners to help you understand what information to add to your plans. It is important that you keep and file these programs as you progress. This will help you see how far you’ve progressed over-time, and will give you a record of your exercise history should your accredited exercise physiologist or consultant physician request this information.


Other Information

  • Always remember to exercise safely.
  • Adjust the times and intensities of exercise based on your own level of fitness, comfort or health at your specific stage of disease progression or treatment.
  • If you are unsure of what you should be doing or require further information concerning your exercise programs, speak to an accredited exercise physiologist who specialises in cancer management.
  • Once you complete this 12 week program, consider progressing to the advanced level. If you are feeling confident with your progress in one area (aerobic or resistance), you can progress to the intermediate level for that specific area following the advice or confirmation of your consulting professional.