Cancer patients will be enrolled in gym sessions before beginning chemotherapy to help their chances of survival.
Within 48 hours of diagnosis, patients are encouraged to enroll in a "pre-treatment" regimen of three NHS fitness sessions per week.
High intensity cardiovascular exercise and strength training will be accompanied by nutritional counseling and mental health support.
Doctors said that by being fit, the side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy and the amount of time spent in the hospital could be reduced.
"Cancer treatments now work better than ever, but they can really affect your body," said NHS chief executive Simon Stevens.
"So there is growing evidence that it really is worth trying to fit in before chemotherapy or major surgery.
"In fact, you are preparing your own recovery even before treatment starts."
More than 500 people in Greater Manchester are currently participating in the program and more than 2,000 are expected to participate in the next two years.
Yorkshire, Leicester and London are also performing similar services.
David Fowles, who joined the "preinstallation" program this year, attributed the fact that it reduced recovery time.
"If someone had told me in February that I would go to the gym, I would have laughed at them," said the 68-year-old retiree.
"My consultant asked if I would like to try, explaining the idea that if you are fit before surgery, you will leave the hospital faster, so I said yes.
"The surgery was pretty scary and it took 10.5 hours. I was told I would be in the hospital for two, three or four weeks.
"Well, I left within nine days. I couldn't believe it. It's all due to the fitness regime – it's been wonderful.
"I just got a new grandson in February, he also inspired me and I want to get better to see him – it encouraged me to move on."