CancerFIT is a free weekly exercise class for cancer patients and survivors that is based on current and emerging research linking exercise to better outcomes in cancer care. The 45-minute classes are open to all who have been diagnosed with cancer regardless of treatment status, and are appropriate for all fitness levels. Each class is specifically tailored towards participants’ fitness levels and needs. Physical therapists oversee the classes, which are led by doctoral students in Columbia University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.
Exercise has been proven to counter many side effects–both physical and mental–that patients may experience with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Cancer-related fatigue, depression, and anxiety have been shown to improve with exercise. Exercise also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease among chemotherapy patients. Researchers are currently investigating whether exercise may play a role in recurrence rates and survivorship.
CancerFIT also serves as an organic support group, bringing together people who have been diagnosed with cancer and may have similar experiences.