New Year’s Resolution Made Easy

Each year at the stroke of midnight Americans ring in the New Year with thoughtful resolutions intended to improve overall health and wellbeing. Recent studies now suggest exercise is both safe and beneficial for cancer patients. Researchers say exercise seems to help temper the effects of chemotherapy and even speed recovery.

Other studies indicate physically active patients, particularly those diagnosed with breast, prostate or colorectal cancer, appear to have fewer recurrences and lower death rates. The Duke Cancer Institute Survivorship Center and Duke Medicine Health and Fitness Center have partnered to offer free personalized exercise consultations to cancer patients.

Laura Bruno, MS, an exercise physiologist and certified trainer, will be available to help patients get and stay fit.

“It’s important to remember that exercise benefits every individual in a multitude of ways,” said Bruno, who joined Duke in 2014. “Patients engaged in a regular exercise program experience similar increases in strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness as those without the disease.” Bruno urges cancer patients to begin to take simple steps to make exercise part of their daily routine. “I plan to create easy-to-follow personalized programs,” Bruno said. “I’ll make exercise enjoyable, useful and helpful as part of a holistic care plan. My aim is to improve quality of life through exercise, no matter what stage of treatment patients find themselves.”

Thirty- to 60-minute consultations are available in the Duke Cancer Center Patient Resource Center, 0 Level, on Wednesdays from 8:45 to 11:30 a.m. Drop-ins are welcome. Patients can also schedule an appointment by emailing Laura Bruno at