Why exercise?

Some research has shown that regular physical activity can decrease the risk of dying from cancer. It can also decrease the risk of your cancer coming back (recurring) after treatment, and also decrease your risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke. It may also help with some of the side-effects of treatment.running-1024x576

By eating healthily and being physically active you can take control of your health. A healthy diet and physical activity can help you to maintain a healthy body weight and benefit your general health. You can also reduce your risk of medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes and other cancers.

Have a look at the following articles to find out more about research which has already been done:

 

What type of exercise should you be doing?cycling

Any activity that makes you move around more will improve your fitness. There’s an exercise for everyone – the important thing is to find something you enjoy and commit to doing it regularly.

By incorporating exercise into your daily life, you can reap fantastic health benefits including stronger skeletal muscle, improved aerobic fitness, greater strength, better quality sleep and psychological benefits. Stick with it and you’ll soon notice a difference in your levels of fitness and start to enjoy the benefits.

murphy-1You might find it easiest to go for a walk twice a day. Take your friends, or other family members or your dog. If you don’t have a dog, consider getting one – it will give you a great reason to get out for a walk every day regardless of the weather.

Many people find walking much more interesting with someone to talk to (and yes, you can talk to your dog!). If you like swimming, then swim, or go cycling if you have a bike and enjoy that. Both of these can be easier on ‘dodgy’ knees than walking or running.

If you are able to, make some of your exercise more intense as this will have an even bigger impact on your health. Physical exercise should be enjoyed! Get your friend and family involved and share the fun! You should soon begin to see a benefit both physically and emotionally.

 

 Borg rate of perceived exertion

Are you doing enough? Check your levels of exertion against the Borg table below :

BORG

 Explanation / Perceived Exertion

6 No exertion at all
7 Extremely light
8 La, la, la
9 Very light – (easy walking slowly at a comfortable pace)
10 This is the effort level where you can’t hear your breathing
11 You’re able to easily talk and you can run here for a very long time
12 Light. Here you are building aerobic endurance
13 Somewhat hard (It is quite an effort; you feel tired but can continue)
14 You start to hear your breathing, not gasping for air
15 You can talk, but more challenging, use one-or two-word answers
16 Hard. This is considered your steady state
17 Very hard (very strenuous, and you are very fatigued) anaerobic threshold
18 Breathing is vigorous. You can’t talk, you’re reaching for air
19 Extremely hard (you’re counting the minutes until it ends)
20 Maximal exertion

Exercises using resistance bands

If you have had hormone treatment for prostate cancer you may well find that you are not as strong as you were before your cancer was diagnosed and treated. This is probably due to the fact that prostate cancerhab-resistance-bands itself, and the hormones often used to treat it, can cause muscle wasting and decreased strength.

Resistance bands are simple to use, cheap to buy and can really help you to increase your strength. Research shows that by improving your physical strength you can improve your sensitivity to insulin and so stop the body producing excess amounts of both insulin and the associated growth factor. If you have had cancer, this may in turn help to decrease the risk of you cancer coming back (recurrence).

The exercises in the diagrams below can be done using stretch bands of any grade – thicker bands give more resistance so should be used by stronger people. Thinner bands are a good starting point for anyone new to using them. Link here to a source for purchasing bands? Get yourself a couple of different bands and have a go at the exercises below to see if you can increase your strength.

There is an introductory demonstration video here to help you get started. More videos can be found for each individual exercise by following the links in the table below:

 

Side bends 

  • Stand, holding band in right hand, right foot securing other end of band as shown.
  • Bend to left, keeping elbow straight.
  • Slowly return to start position and repeat. Repeat sets with other side.

Video here

Seated row 

  • Attach band to secure object.
  • Grasp band in hands.
  • Sit in chair with back unsupported, maintaining proper posture.
  • Keep elbows near sides, elbows bent.
  • Squeeze shoulder blades together, pulling arms back.
  • Slowly return to start and repeat.

Video here

Trunk twists

  • Attach band to secure object at waist level.
  • Sit in chair.
  • Grasp band in both hands, hold elastic at navel.
  • Twist away from elastic.
  • Slowly return and repeat the sets in the other direction.

Video here

Elbow flexion

  • Stand on the band. Grasp the band in your hand with your palm up and your arm straight.
  • Pull the band upwards, bending at the elbow.
  • Slowly return to start position and repeat.

Video here

Elbow extension 

  • Attach the band to a secure object at waist level.
  • Grasp the band with your thumb up and your elbow bent.
  • Straighten your elbow keeping it at your side.
  • Slowly return to starting position.

Video here

Lateral raise 

  • Stand on the band.
  • Hold the band in both hands.
  • Begin with arms at sides.
  • Position palms forward.
  • Keep elbows straight and lift arms to shoulder level.
  • Slowly lower and repeat.

Video here

Front raise

  • Stand with both feet on the band and hold the band in both hands.
  • Begin with your hands at your sides, palms facing backwards.
  • Keeping your elbows straight, raise your arms in front of your body until they are just above your head.
  • Slowly lower and repeat.

Video here

Shoulder flexion 

  • Stand on the band.
  • Begin with your arm at your side, with your elbow straight and your thumb up.
  • Grasp the band.
    Raise your arm in front over your head, keeping elbow straight.
  • Slowly return to starting position.

Video here

Shoulder extension 

  • Secure the band at waist level as shown.
  • Grasp the band and pull your arm backwards keeping your elbow straight.
  • Slowly return to start position.

Video here

Hip flexion  

  • Attach the band to a secure object at ankle level.
  • Loop the band around your ankle.
  • Stand, facing away from the pull.
  • Extend your leg forwards, keeping your knee straight.
  • Slowly return to the start position.

Video here

Hip extension

  • Attach the band to a secure object at ankle level.
  • Loop the band around your ankle.
  • Stand, facing towards the pull.
  • Extend your leg backwards, keeping your knee straight.
  • Slowly return to the start position.

Video here

Hip abduction (standing)

  • Attach band to a secure object at ankle level.
  • Stand with involved leg away, as shown.
  • Keeping your knee straight, pull away, moving your leg outward.
  • Slowly return to start position.

Video here

Hip adduction  

  • Attach the band to a secure object at ankle level.
  • Stand with involved leg towards pull, as shown.
  • Keeping your knee straight, pull in, moving your leg inward.
  • Slowly return to start position.

Video here

Knee extension (sitting) 

  • Attach the band to ankle of involved leg.
  • Secure behind as shown.
  • Sit with your leg bent to 90 degrees, as shown.
  • Straighten your leg at the knee.
  • Slowly return to start position.

Video here

Knee flexion (sitting) 

  • Attach the band to a secure object.
  • Sit in a chair and attach the band to the ankle of involved leg as shown.
  • Pull heel under chair through full range, as shown.
  • Slowly return to starting position.

Video here

Squat 

  • Stand on both legs.
  • Hold the band in both hands with your elbows straight.
  • Place the band under your feet.
  • Bend your knees to 90 degrees.
  • Pull to add tension to the band.
  • Straighten your knees.
  • Slowly repeat.

Video here

Quick kicks 

  • Loop the band around your ankles.
  • Kick your leg outward and quickly repeat.
  • Keep your toes pointed straight ahead and do not bend your trunk.

Video here

 

Make it work for you

  • Set yourself realistic goals and make changes gradually. Trying to make big changes or too many changes at once walking2may mean that you are less likely to stick to them. Start by making small changes that you feel comfortable with.
  • Know your numbers – check your BMI and get a health check for your cholesterol and blood pressure so you know what your health risks are for cardiovascular disease. If you are taking part in the study this will be done at your baseline assessment. If you are not on the study ask your GP about getting them checked.
  • Get support and seek advice if you are finding it difficult. There are lots of resources available for helping to successfully incorporate exercise into your life (walking for health).
  • Find an exercise you enjoy – you’re more likely to keep going with it!
  • Exercise with your partner, family and friend to make it more enjoyable.
  • If running is your thing, consider joining a running club. They usually welcome new members and tend to be very encouraging to people who’ve just taken up running.

Exercising in the TrueNTH Exercise and Diet Study…

If you are taking part in the TrueNTH Exercise and Diet Study, you will have been given a personal prescription for a 12 week programme, the study Man-ual and a DVD. The personal prescriptions are bespoke for each man on the study so yours should be realistic and ‘do-able’. Suggestions will be sensible and easy to incorporate into your daily life. For instance, you may have been advised to go for a walk every day or simply get off the bus a stop earlier than usual.

The TrueNTH Exercise and Diet study incorporates some resistance training into the 12 week programmes to improve physical strength. If you are taking part in the study, have a look at page 23 of the Man-ual to find out more about resistance training.

If you would like a more detailed exercise programme you can download one below. Just make sure you use the grid which corresponds to your fitness and strength as it was assessed at the start of the study i.e. low, moderate or high.

Useful resources for active living