Gym workouts

Hi there,
I’m on my 3rd Ac chemo, Im really well with it, and have the same capacity at the gym that I had pre-chemo. The only thing is where my heart rate would previously hover around 140 during a run, it now creeps up to 170. My max heart rate is 176. I wondering if this is good/bad or indifferent for my heart health.

Hi Starburst,

Thanks for posting.

It’s good to hear that you’re tolerating your chemotherapy well and managing to continue exercising throughout. As you have likely discovered, exercise can help many people to manage their symptoms and fatigue during treatment. You can also find guidance on exercising safely with cancer here.

If you’re usually fit and active, and don’t have any heart conditions, the maximum safe heart rate for you may be higher than less active people. However, during chemotherapy, your body may become fatigued more easily, and it is important to allow your body to rest. Your increased heart rate during exercise may be your bodies way of telling you to slow down a little. The British Heart Foundation has more information on heart rates and target heart rates during exercise although this is not in relation to people on cancer treatment. You may also find the following links with information on exercise and cancer useful:

The Best FREE Community Fitness App for ALL Women | Her Spirit

Physical activity | Breast Cancer Now Podcast (

Facebook Live: Exercise interventions for people with breast cancer - January 2024 (

It is worth speaking to your treatment team about your increased heart rate during exercise, as some chemotherapy can have an impact on your heart, so they may want to check this if necessary.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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