Regular exercise is almost always recommended as an excellent way to improve health, prevent illness and increase stamina. For prostate cancer patients, however, getting active can prove especially important.
After all, prostate cancer treatments are known to take their toll on survivors’ quality of life. Reported side effects of some treatments include erectile dysfunction, urinary problems, fatigue, weight gain, bowel problems and more. Walking on a regular basis, however, can reduce some of these side effects while helping improve a man’s overall quality of life.
A new study out of Chicago’s Northwestern University shows that an average of three hours of walking a week can greatly improve prostate cancer survivors’ quality of life. This occurs because it helps reduce fatigue by boosting stamina, helps control weight issues and can reduce the likelihood of depression. The pace of the walk, researchers say only needs to be normal. Similar results were experienced by men who walked at faster paces for an estimated 90 minutes a week.
The study itself focused in on more than 51,000 prostate cancer patients. These men, who were early stage survivors, were asked to complete a survey about their quality of life with the results showing more positive results for men who were at least moderately active following treatment.
While walking can help stave off some of the potential side effects associated with prostate cancer treatment, men may need to consult their doctors about others. Issues related to urinary problems, erectile dysfunction and bowel concerns may need to be treated by other means. It’s also important for men to consult their doctors prior to starting any exercise routine. While getting active is almost always a smart choice, medical clearance is important for safety reasons – especially following surgical procedures.
Prostate cancer is the leading form of cancer diagnosed in American men. The best recommendations for treatment of this disease and avoidance of post-treatment side effects will come directly from a man’s personal physician.