PD Dr. Joachim Wiskemann

Prof. Dr. Joachim Wiskemann


Patient Program Director
"Physical Activity and Cancer"

Phone: +49 6221 56-5918
E-mail: krebssport@nct-heidelberg.de

Physical Activity and Exercise

Treatment of cancer means a strong physical and psychological burden. Exercise or structured physical training can help to reduce or even prevent side effects both during and after cancer treatment. Furthermore, tumor patients themselves can positively influence their subjective well-being through exercise and sports.

For this reason the working group  » "Exercise Oncology" at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg offers comprehensive physical activity and exercise counseling and support.

The  » Network OnkoAktiv, founded at NCT Heidelberg, supports patients with training placements close to their homes.

There are three ways you can contact us:

1. In person in our coordination office at NCT, 2nd floor, room 02.310

2. By telephone at +49 6221 56-5918, from Monday–Thursday, 8:00–12:00, your contact person: Christine Boos
Outside normal consultation sessions please speak on the answering machine. We are happy to return your call.

3. By e-mail krebssport@nct-heidelberg.de

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please take note that the use of our services is only possible after you have registered at our coordination office.

We offer the following exercise programs:

  • Strength training
  • Endurance training: walking, Nordic walking, running group
  • Special groups: for patients with polyneuropathy
  • Rehabilitation exercise groups: combined strength-endurance training
  • Rowing: on the river Neckar, in winter in the rowing hall or on ergometers; only possible for patients with a stable blood count
  • Pelvic floor training
  • Relaxation techniques: progressive muscle relaxation and other methods like autogenic training, fantasy and body journeys
  • Yoga: Hatha Yoga
  • Stretching

All courses take place in groups or small groups. We also offer an individual counseling for a customized training plan recommendation to patients who can't or don't want to train in groups. Moreover, there is the option of being referred to training or therapy institutions close to home via the OnkoAktiv network.

  • Group-based strength training: "Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften"
    (Institute of Sports and Sport Sciences, ISSW, Im Neuenheimer Feld - INF 700 and 720). The training room is located approx. 10 minutes walk from NCT Heidelberg.
    Mo: 7:00-10:00 Uhr (ISSW, INF 700)
    Tue: 7:30-12:00 Uhr (ISSW, INF 700)
    Wed: 15:00-19:00 Uhr (ISSW, INF 700)
    Thu: 7:30-12:00 Uhr (ISSW, INF 700)
    Fri: 7:00-10:00 Uhr (ISSW, INF 700)
    Fri: 14:00-18:00 Uhr (ISSW, INF 700)
  • Stretching: NCT Heidelberg sports room (NCT Heidelberg building, 2nd floor)
    Mon: 10:15-11:00 Uhr
    Tue: 15:00-15:45 Uhr
    Wed: 13:30-14.15 Uhr (online)
    Thu: 16:00-16:45 Uhr
  • Nordic Walking- and Walkinggroups: are usually outdoors. In adverse weather conditions the sessions take place in the sports room (NCT Heidelberg building, 2nd floor).

    Nordic walking for advanced
    Meeting point:
    Summer: Parking lot at "Tiefburg", Handschuhsheim
    Winter/in the dark: Neckarwiese - at the level of Café Frisch
    Fri: 9:00-10:30

    Nordic walking for beginners
    Meeting point: NCT Heidelberg sports room (2nd floor)
    Fri: 10:30-12:00

    Polyneuropathy groups (rehab exercise groups): NCT Heidelberg sports room (2nd floor)
    Mon: 11:00-12:00 and 13:30-14:30 Uhr
    Tue: 13:30-14:30
    Wed: 11:00-12:00 and 14:15-15:00 (online)

  • Functional training (combined strength and endurance training): in the sports room of the NCT Heidelberg (2nd floor).
    Mon (Online): 16:15 - 17:30
    Mon: 17:00-18:15 (online)
    Tue: 16:00-16:50, 17:00-17:50, 18:00-18:50
    Wed: 08:00-08:50, 09:00-09:50, 10:00-10:50
    Thu: 17:00-17:50, 18:00-18:50
  • Pelvic floor exercise: NCT Heidelberg sports room (2nd floor),
    Mon: 16:00-16:45 (online)
    Fri: 13:30-14:15 Uhr (Men) und 14:30-15.15 (Women)
  • Rowing: Meeting point is the boathouse of the "Rudergesellschaft Heidelberg e.V." (Heidelberg rowing club); Schurmanstraße 2, Heidelberg.
    Mon 15:00-17:00 and Fri 12:30-14:30
    Tue: 10:00-12:00
  • Yoga: NCT Heidelberg sports room (2nd floor),
    Hatha-yoga with relaxation
    Mon: 18:00-19:30
    Tue: 18:30-19:30 (online)
    Thurs 10:30-12:00 and 19:00-20:30 ("Alte Chirurgie")


Training schedule

» Download plan as PDF-file

Training plan: Click the image to enlarge.

Will I be examined before engaging in sports?
As a rule, yes.
All patients who would like to take part in our exercise programs are examined beforehand so that their training can be appropriately planned and their physical condition can be ascertained. The preliminary examination is carried out in cooperation between the Department of Medical Oncology and the Department of Sports Medicine. You will receive more detailed information after you have registered at our coordination office.

Do I have to pay for the training or the counseling?
As a rule, the training and counseling is free.
To cover the costs at least partially, we try whenever possible to receive reimbursement for rehab sports from health insurers. This is done in cooperation with the "Vereinsabteilung für integrative Sport- und Bewegungstherapie in der onkologischen Nachsorge (VISION)" (association department for integrative sports and physical therapy in oncologic aftercare) in the association "OnkoAktiv am NCT Heidelberg e.V.“.

In order to claim reimbursement for rehab sports, we require a prescription using the so-called "Muster 56" or "Rehasport G850", which can be issued directly by the rehabilitation clinic at the end of inpatient rehabilitation. Your family physician or oncologist can fill out the "Muster 56" application form (50 training units are usual, in case of polyneuropathy even 120 units). We will inform you about this in detail when you register.

Private patients also need a prescription (preferably using "Muster 56", even though this is actually intended for those with statutory health insurance). Based on the prescription, we will prepare a cost estimate for your insurer who will then inform you whether they will bear the costs. If problems arise with your insurer, we are happy to be of assistance.

If you are no longer prescribed rehab sports but would still like to train with us, then for a monthly membership fee you can join our club VISION (see above), which will entitle you to use our facilities in the long term.

Where and when does counseling take place?

Counseling sessions are always by individual appointment and, as a rule, take place at NCT Heidelberg. In exceptional cases, counseling may be provided over the telephone.

Please bring along light, sporty clothes and sturdy shoes to the training sessions. The clothing should not restrict movement and, with outdoor activities, should be appropriate for the prevailing weather conditions. Please bring clean sports shoes for indoor activities and appropriate shoes for outdoor activities. You should also always have a towel and something to drink with you if possible.

Is information material available?
Yes. The brochure "Physical Activity, Sports and Cancer" (only available in German) is available as PDF-download or can be ordered via e-mail to: onkoaktiv@nct-heidelberg.de. As part of a study, we have prepared a training brochure which you can purchase at cost for 10 euros. Or for 15 euros we are happy to send you the brochure. This brochure is intended for patients with cancer who would like to remain or become physically active on a regular basis. Examples of important topics: What do I need to consider as a cancer patient or where can I find special training facilities? The brochure also contains specific exercise descriptions.

What is OnkoAktiv?
OnkoAktiv is a therapeutic oncologic sports and exercise network that was founded 2012 in Heidelberg. Its goal is to provide cancer patients with high-quality therapy options as close to home as possible. The network also intends to link the different groups of professional therapists together and make the exchange of information and continuing education on the topic of exercise and cancer possible.

Contact persons for the network OnkoAktiv:
Beate Biazeck und Franziska Olivier
E-Mail: onkoaktiv@nct-heidelberg.de

Institute of Sport Sciences

Institute of Sports and Sports Sciences (ISSW)
For the implementation of the sports and therapeutic exercise programs we cooperate with the Heidelberg University Institute of Sports and Sports Sciences and the association "Gesundheit durch Bewegung" e. V. (GdB e. -V.—health through exercise), also based there.

Heidelberg University Hospital Department of Sports Medicine
The preliminary examinations are carried out in cooperation with the Heidelberg University Hospital Department of Sports Medicine.

Rowing club Heidelberg 1898 e. V.

Foundation "Leben mit Krebs"

Rudergesellschaft Heidelberg 1898 e. V.
The rowing programs are organized in cooperation with the Rudergesellschaft Heidelberg 1898 e.V. (rowing club Heidelberg 1898 e. V.)

Rowing against cancer
The NCT Heidelberg organizes the annual fundraising regatta "rowing against cancer" together with the foundation "Leben mit Krebs" ("living with cancer") and the Rudergesellschaft Heidelberg 1898 e.V. (rowing club Heidelberg 1898 e. V.).


The BASF SE supports the work of the network OnkoAktiv.

PD Dr. Joachim Wiskemann

Prof. Dr. Joachim Wiskemann

Christine Boos
Patient Coordinator


Franziska Olivier
Sports therapist


Jean-Luc Paratte
Sports therapist

Anne Streblow
Sport scientist
Patient Coordination


Amelie Trautmann