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Movin' On Cancer Fitness Program

Exercise has been proven to have a profound impact on the recovery process in patients with cancer both physically and emotionally. Treatments used to cure cancer often make activities of daily living more difficult to manage.

Exercise improves the body's ability to be efficient in performing daily functions and allows the body to react easier to the cancer treatments while having fewer side effects and better sleep and rest patterns.

Most importantly, physical exercise can have a dramatic positive impact on the quality of life of patients with cancer.

Our mission is to help patients cope with the effects of treatments and manage symptoms. We want people to focus on their positive energy, have enjoyment in life and reduce illness-related anxieties.

Exercising with others is a great opportunity to maintain your motivation, prevent boredom and spend time with people experiencing similar symptoms while everyone is working toward better health. As part of this program, you will have a great support network from both fellow participants and the Avera McKennan Fitness Center staff.

What This Program Can Do For You

Improve your quality of life

Physical benefits include:

  • Enhanced restfulness and sleep patterns
  • Increased muscle strength, coordination and balance
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced nausea and fatigue
  • Lower pain levels

Physiological benefits include:

  • Elevated immune system
  • Increased lung capacity
  • Strengthened cardiovascular system
  • Enhanced flexibility and range of motion
  • Regained muscle tone and strength
  • Better supply of oxygen to brain and tissues

Psychological benefits include:

  • Stress reduction
  • Relaxation
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased feelings of self control
  • Enhanced feelings of independence, self confidence and self esteem
  • Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Improved mood and mental attitude

Components of the program

  1. Strength & Aerobic Conditioning
    A strong, fit body leads to a stronger self-image and increased confidence. Fitness equipment, weights, and functional training equipment. Participants will be educated on different forms of exercise that can be beneficial to overall health and well-being.
  2. Mind Body Exercise
    • Yoga for Cancer - These gentle Yoga practices are intended to strengthen physiological functions (especially the immune system) and restore inner balance. The specific exercises combine breathing exercises, body postures, gentle stretching, relaxation and meditation.
    • Harmony Qigong - Qigong is designed to enhance the natural flow of vital energy called chi in the body. Qigong uses breathing exercises and physical and meditative movements to help circulate the body's energy. The movements are soft and flowing and easy to learn. This ancient practice reduces stress and anxiety, speeds healing and improves sleep.
  3. Nutrition Education
    Set nutritional goals with a registered dietitian to maintain a healthy body weight and select a nutritional plan that promotes health and healing.
  4. Fitness Center Membership
    Utilize Avera McKennan Fitness Center including pools, group exercise classes, walking track, and fitness equipment, in addition to your personal training sessions.


The Avera McKennan Fitness Center staff is knowledgeable, educated and compassionate to the program participants' symptoms and medical concerns. The exercises will be tailored to the individual's needs, and modified if needed so that participants can work at their own pace.

Participants will be required to obtain medical clearance from their physicians and will need to complete a medical health history questionnaire prior to beginning the program.

The cancer wellness program includes closely - monitored exercise, led by certified Avera McKennan Fitness Center cancer exercise professionals. The 8 week program will include sessions of one-on-one fitness and mind body training and nutrition.

During this eight week session, participants will be able to apply what they have learned in class at home, work and daily life.

Fitness Center membership during the 8 week program is included.

Call Kerri Stearns at 605-322-5330 to enroll.

This program is supported by funds raised through the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer.