Fitness and exercise

What is it?

Having cancer affects your physical health in many different ways. Whether your aim is to maintain your regular exercise regime or to build up a program, you are improving your chances for a positive outcome.

It is widely believed that the most effective exercise programs have three main elements:

  • An aerobic workout that pumps up your heart rate and increases blood flow eg walking, light jogging, swimming, or biking
  • Strength training to tone and build muscles e.g. lifting light weights or working with a machine circuit or resistance bands
  • Stretching to keep muscles and joints supple e.g. yoga and Pilates

Common exercises include:

  • Walking
  • Yoga, Pilates, tai chi and stretching
  • Swimming, water aerobics
  • Biking (stationary or outdoors)

How will I improve my fitness?

If you need a personal trainer or would prefer a supervised clinical environment, Under the Canopy can provide the solution:

FERN Health -

By working with a specialist 1 on 1 trainer, you will be given the right advice tailored to your condition and goals. It might be that you want to be able to walk for 10 minutes unaided, complete a spin class or improve your range of movement. Whatever your goal is, it is up to you and your trainer to work together to work out what is right for you.

ExerScience Clinic -

The ExerScience Clinic provides medically monitored exercise rehabilitation services to those who have had a cancer diagnosis and aims to reduce the impact of treatment-related side effects, improve physical function and enhance overall wellbeing. All exercise is individually prescribed and is performed under a high level of supervision.





How are fitness and exercise beneficial?

How are fitness and exercise beneficial? Regular exercise can enhance and strengthen your wellbeing in a number of different ways.

When should I begin exercise regularly?

Try your best to begin exercise as soon as possible. Recent research has found that exercise in those who have had a cancer diagnosis is beneficial not only post-treatment to improve health outcomes, but also prior to, and during treatment as it helps to prevent the decline of physical function without increasing fatigue. Research also indicates that patients with advanced cancer can benefit from regular exercise to improve quality of life by maintaining independence and wellbeing.

How are fitness and exercise beneficial?

Regular physical exercise has the potential to improve health outcomes and quality of life across almost all chronic health conditions.

Research shows a moderate level of fitness can: 

  • Reduce treatment symptoms – including cancer-related fatigue, pain and nausea
  • Increase the tolerance of your heart and lungs for exercise
  • Build your strength by improving muscle quantity and quality – necessary to stay mobile
  • Increase your flexibility and balance lowering the risk of falls and breaks
  • Reduce stress and anxiety enabling you to cope better
  • Increase the release of endorphins – the happy hormone
  • Boost your immune system
  • Enhance your body image, composition, self-esteem and mood
  • Improve blood flow lowering the risk of blood clots
  • Reduce the risk of developing secondary conditions – like heart disease. In combination with conventional care, recent research in breast and colorectal cancer survivors has indicated that exercise has the potential to reduce the relative risk of cancer recurrence and cancer related mortality by up to 50%

(References: 1Holmes, 2005. Physical activity and survival after breast cancer diagnosis; 2Meyerhardt, 2006. Physical activity and survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis; 3Galvão, 2005. Review of exercise intervention studies; 4Mishra, 2012. Exercise interventions on health‐related quality of life for cancer survivors.)

What will the consultations cost?

FERN Health and the ExerScience Clinic offer you the flexibility to choose to attend one-off exercise sessions, or inclusive programmes that are flexible around your treatment and symptoms.

The costs for these services vary to suit your needs – For details about the services at the ExerScience Clinic,  visit: Click here to view the Programme.


Depending on the terms of your policy, you may find that your private health insurance will cover all or part of the associated costs. Please contact them directly to find out more.

Appointment Costs:

(incl GST)
Follow Up
(incl GST)
FERN - Kirsty Bowker   $150  45-60 mins      $80.00



Aalia Desai,
Jaimee Brown)

20-30 mins  
$250 - $500*

DEXA scan
for body
60-120 mins Supervised

$80 per session
or $720 for
a 10-visit
concession card
45-60 mins

*Initial assessment includes medical history, analysis of risk factors and a full assessment of your cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength.

ExerScience programsPrice (incl GST)Number of sessions
The Kickstart $1250 - Initial assessment
- 3-month gym membership
- Final assessment
The Basic $3100 - Initial assessment
- 36 exercise sessions
- Final assessment
$2250 - Initial assessment
- 18 exercise sessions
- Final assessment
The Works $3400 - Initial assessment
- 36 exercise sessions
- Final assessment
$2550 - Initial assessment
- 18 exercise sessions
- Final assessment


FERN Health

kirstyKirsty Bowker 

Kirsty Bowker is a qualified practitioner specialising in nutrition and exercise. She has over 12 years of experience working in the sports and nutrition industry plus a long career as a competitive swimmer, runner and triathlete. Kirsty has an ability to connect with all people through their challenges and tailors programs specifically to their needs. Her passion is to enable positive differences by working alongside patients to achieve the changes they want to make.

Kirsty can meet with you at her home office in St Heliers or has the flexibility to go to your home if you prefer.

Kirsty is a mother of two very energetic school aged children. She loves the outdoors, fresh produce, healthy eating and family.

The ExerScience Clinic

EleanorEleanor Strong

JaimeeJaimee Brown

AlisaAalia Desai


The team at the ExerScience Clinic are all qualified Clinical Exercise Physiologists (CEP’s) who specialise in the delivery of exercise, lifestyle and behavioural modification for the prevention, management and rehabilitation of chronic conditions/injuries. CEP’s complete a post-graduate degree which equips them to accurately assess clinical signs, symptoms and measurements. Based on that information they can then prescribe safe and effective exercise programmes designed to restore health in those with existing medical conditions and reduce the risk of future health problems.