Your cancer

Adapted physical activity


Adapted physical activity

Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of developing cancer (particularly breast, colon and endometrial cancers), and the risk of relapse.

It also lowers the risk of developing other diseases and health issues.

Cancer patients who engage in regular physical activity report reduced fatigue, improved quality of life, and in increased likelihood to adhere to their treatment plans.


What is adapted physical activity (APA)?​

APA is activity adapted to the needs of a patient who cannot practice an activity under ordinary conditions. This is established by the decree of December 30, 2016: « practice in a context of daily activity, leisure, sports or programmed exercises, bodily movements produced by skeletal muscles, based on the skills and motivations of people with specific needs that prevent them from practicing in ordinary conditions. The purpose of providing adapted physical activity is to enable a person to adopt a physically active lifestyle on a regular basis in order to reduce the risk factors and functional limitations associated with their long-term condition. The techniques used relate to physical and sporting activities and are distinguished from rehabilitation acts which are reserved for healthcare professionals. »

In this context, it is the activity that adapts to the patient according to a personalized program and not the other way around.

What formalities should you plan for?

As with the practice of any sporting activity, a medical certificate of no contraindication is necessary for the practice of APA. Since 2016, adapted physical activity is available by medical prescription and must be administered by a qualified professional. Some or all of the fees may be covered by your medical insurance; consult your provider.

What type of activities should I do?

It is recommended to have at least 30 minutes of “dynamic” activity per day. This includes exercise as well as everyday activities like moderate housework, taking the stairs, going for a brisk walk, etc.

If you are already exercising, it is often possible to continue to do so during treatment. However, extreme sports such as skiing, horseback riding, diving or skydiving will likely need to be avoided. Be sure to discuss your exercise regimen with your cancer care team.

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