PROVIDENCE, RI—A new study shows that moderate exercise may help improve fitness and psychological well being among early-stage breast cancer patients. Published in the May 20th edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the study looked at 86 women who had undergone treatment for early-stage breast cancer.

Half were put on a home exercise program, and a researcher called all study participants each week to monitor their physical activity, giving encouragement to only those in the physical activity group. Both groups received tips on exercise.

Results showed that the physical activity group reported significantly more total minutes of exercise, more minutes of moderate-intensity exercise and higher energy expenditure per week than the other group. The physical activity group also out-performed the others on a fitness test. Although, there were no significant differences in body mass index and percentage of body fat between the groups, the physical activity group was more likely to be motivated to exercise and more likely to meet physical activity guidelines. Also, final comparisons revealed significant improvements in vigor and a reduction in fatigue in the physical activity group, along with a positive effect on overall mood and body esteem.