To help train your body for major surgery

Getting active now will help train your body for major surgery. Similar to how an individual would train and prepare their body in the weeks leading up to a major sporting event in order to prevent injury and recover as soon as possible, we would like you to train your body before your upcoming operation to minimise the health risks after your surgery and to help you recover more quickly. Improving your current level of fitness before a major operation will help minimise the risks of infections after your surgery and will help you have a healthy recovery.   

A target of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week at a moderate intensity – where you are slightly short of breath but can still talk.  Below are suggestions to achieve this 

  • Moderate/brisk walking 
  • Jogging 
  • Swimming
  • Cycling 

Your activity can be spread out across your day, for example a ten minute brisk walk in the morning and again in the evening and a ten minute cycling on an exercise bike in between.  

If you have not done much physical activity for a while you may want to get the all clear from a GP before starting. 

Macmillan Move More pack Physical Activity and Cancer

  • Lifestyle Diary

Video resources

Prehab4 cancer videos

Benefits of walking

Stretch and flex

Introduction to Interval training

Stretching and Mobility

Strength and Balance 

After surgery we recommend you continue to maintain your fitness levels. Once home many patients feel comfortable walking short distances to keep active during the recovery period. You can gradually increase the amount of exercise you complete as you feel able. 

Macmillan Cancer Support

Move More Exercise video


Additional resources

For local council fitness centre and classes Fife Leisure 

Prehabilitation booklet

Macmillan:  Move more leaflet

Macmillan: Wallchart

Macmillan: Physical activity and cancer leaflet