Exercise and Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is a real bastard.
According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, in Australia, by the age of 85, there is a 1 in 5 risk of developing prostate cancer. And while that is a staggering statistic, the process that men go through in the treatment of prostate cancer can leave a lasting impact. Androgen deprivation therapy – an anti-hormone therapy that targets testosterone, among others) can leave you feeling fatigued, emotional and unmotivated.
New research however demonstrates that there is something that can help offset some of these side effects. Exercise.
For men with prostate cancer, it is essential to incorporate all three types of activity – cardiovascular exercise, strength (or resistance exercise), and flexibility. So here are some guidelines that you should be using when exercising:
1. How much exercise do you need?
· Do continuous or intermittent aerobic exercise for 20 to 60 minutes per session, three to five times per week Your total weekly exercise should be 120–150 minutes, depending on the intensity of your aerobic exercise.
· Resistance (weight) training at an intensity of 6–12 repetitions performed over 3 sets of 6-8 exercises is recommended for each session with the goal of 2 or more sessions per week. It is important to exercise all the major muscle groups each week and select functional movements such as squat, upright row, shoulder press and other exercises that are similar to tasks of daily living.
· Flexibility exercises for major muscle groups involving 2 to 4 sets of each exercise two to three times per week should also be completed.
2. Set some achievable goals, that aren’t necessarily to do with weight or body fat. As testosterone levels go down, there will be a natural tendency to increase the amount of fat in the body. So re-frame your goals during this period. Focus on keeping active, doing “something” every day, and keeping fatigue at bay.
3. Reframe the way you think about exercise. During treatment fatigue can be a real demotivation. Realise that during this time, the aim of exercise is to keep you moving, to keep a good routine, and to create a better headspace. Depression, stress and anxiety are common during this time, so try use exercise as a way to help keep these feelings at bay.
A thorough assessment and training plan for the team of Exercise Physiologists at Rebound Health on Sydney’s Northern Beaches will equip you with the tools to be able to confidently and safely exercise with prostate cancer.
In case you weren’t aware, its World Cancer Day on February 4. This is a fantastic opportunity to increase the awareness of all cancers not only through Sydney’s Northern Beaches, but all over Australia.
At Rebound Health we combine the disciplines of Exercise Physiology, Dietetics and Physiotherapy to effectively promote an active and empowering approach to health. Our core purpose is to inspire individuals in the pursuit of a healthier community.