A pilot retreat was held in Saddleworth, Greater Manchester on 26-28 August 2016 and this is what I offered.

Have you just been diagnosed with cancer? Do you have cancer? Are you recovering from cancer?  Ever considered how exercise might support you with your recover?  Maybe you need some motivation to start or continue exercising?

Well I am delighted to be able to offer you a two day retreat where you will have the opportunity to try exercise, perhaps something you have done before or maybe completely different in a safe, welcoming environment surrounded by like-minded people who understand what you are going through.

When you are diagnosed with cancer people tell you to take it easy.  Yes chemotherapy is hard but from the recent reports such as ‘ Exercise as a treatment for depression’ this can be the wrong thing to do.  Your wellbeing has so much to do with both your physical AND mental wellbeing.


I know cancer affects everyone differently but exercise, I believe, does help with your physical wellbeing and gives you a focus and a buzz to get out and do something.  The mental wellbeing that it can provide is better than any antidepressant.  It’s a viscous circle, we are ill, we eat, we put on weight, if you’re in this circle, you’ll understand the scenario.

After Christmas, the gyms are full of people starting out on New Year’s resolutions to keep fit but this has to change.  We have to think about exercise as a way of life.  If we are not doing it, why are we not doing it?  You HAVE to make time. There are so many different things to try, there is something for everyone, it’s just a case of working out what’s right for you!  The NHS recommendations are for adults to be undertake ‘at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week’ and also strength exercises for major muscles.

Everyone who knows me, sees how energetic I am and asks how I keep exercising? My answer, because you have to.  Increased weight causes problems for so many people from diabetes, to heart problems to cancer.  What a better reason to exercise than to try to help prevent cancer or a recurrence?

It truly is a way of life and I hope that in the time we spend together, I can help to motivate you and help you find something that you may want to continue for life and reach whatever goal you may have.

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is tough, you may feel like you will never be your old self again, but if you can find the motivation, you can become stronger; mentally and physically.  I’m hoping you can take the motivation back home with you even to your family and friends.  Supporting a patient in their fitness, is a really good way to help people to recover.

There will be a range of activities to participate in across different parts to the retreat.

Walking/Nordic walking
Relaxation & possible therapies
How to deal with menopause and other discussion – with a trained therapist from The Christie

NB : These sessions are all led by fully qualified instructors/coaches and when you book I will provide details of the person and their link as I may have to use alternative people due to availability

I’m hoping the retreat can help to give you or regain:

  • Motivation
  • Exercise
  • Strength
  • Support
  • Help
  • Shared experience
  • Meeting new friends
  • Time away from your normal life
  • Getting out in the fresh air
  • Seeing the beauty of Saddleworth that I love


Inclusive package:
2 day package: bed and breakfast rooms, all meals except Friday and Saturday evening meals, cycling off road by an expert, with bikes, helmet hire included, running coaching, organised walk in the hills, Iyengar yoga and personal time, enjoyment with new friends, group conversations.  Knowledge and guidance from experts teaching any classes or techniques.

I hope I can provide:

  • Excellence in attention – giving you the full support and attention for your experience • Make your stay as comfortable as possible • Provide an enjoyable experience through exercise, relaxation and fun • Help you feel at total ease through renewal, rejuvenation and refreshing experience • Give you the techniques you need so that when you leave, you can hopefully continue to keep motivated and have self help in some areas.



Arrive late afternoon
Open discussion with specialist from The Christie about menopause
Evening meal at a local restaurant

Morning – cycling
A short introduction to running
Stretching and relax with yoga
Hand or foot massge by therapist
Evening meal at local restaurant

Early morning local walk to local beauty spot and/or Nordic walking
Lunch and finish.

ABCD retreats “Motivation & Exercise through recovery and beyond”

More information please look at:

Jo Taylor is a breast cancer advocate who enjoys fitness to help with her diagnosis of secondary breast cancer.  This diagnosis is incurable but treatable. She is a huge advocate of keeping fit and healthy not just physically but mentally too and fitness can provide both for patients.  She regularly participates in cycling, running, yoga and cross fit and wants other patients to benefit from the buzz you get from exercising whether you are a beginner, an intermediate or an experienced person, this can help with motivation or if you just like meeting other similar people who have similar interests or diagnosis then this is for you.

Her website provides support for primary and secondary breast cancer patients making informed choices with information, up to date news on treatments, breast surgeries, consultants, hospitals and useful links.

WHEN next retreat TBA please email jo@abcdiagnosis.co.uk if you are interested.

WHERE Saddleworth