ILLAWARRA women who have had breast cancer surgery are being urged to take part in a free exercise program run by YWCA NSW.
The Encore program, which takes place in Wollongong twice a year, will run from 5pm-7pm once a week from February 5 to March 26.
Class sizes are limited to 14, so women are urged to register as soon as possible to secure a place.
Encore is open to women who have had breast cancer surgery at any time in their lives and is designed for improvement, flexibility and strength after surgery, as well as to help reduce the risk of lymphoedema and keep it in check.
Studies have shown that exercise programs for cancer survivors can reduce depression, improve mood, boost self-esteem and reduce fatigue.
Wollongong facilitator Reina French said Encore had three components: information exchange with guest speakers, gentle floor exercises and 30 minutes of hydrotherapy exercises.
"They are gentle exercises to get the lymph system moving, because unlike the heart which pumps blood around the body, the lymph doesn't have anything to pump it," Ms French said.
Speakers provide information about a range of topics such as nutrition and tai chi.
Past speakers included breast cancer nurses and dragon boat crew Dragons Abreast Illawarra.
Ms French said Encore participants were "blown away by how much information they learnt".