Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone. For prostate cancer survivors, exercise as much as you are physically able, at a pace which is maximal for your personal fitness.
Several studies have shown that vigorous exercise significantly reduced the risk of prostate cancer recurrence, compared with the same volume of exercise at an easy pace. For those that are able to exercise vigorously, walk as briskly as you can (3+ miles per hour), and try to add bouts of jogging. Vigorous exercise should include close to maximal effort, in which your heart beats rapidly and you are sweating. Such activity includes running, fast swimming, or fast bicycling.
If you’re not ready for vigorous exercise, don’t worry. PCF-funded researcher June Chan, Sc.D. of UCSF notes that patients can consider “Any little bit of walking, as opposed to sitting. Movement is good for your overall bone health. Don’t push yourself to injury; just get in a good habit.” Read more here.
Research suggests that exercise affects energy metabolism, inflammation, oxidative stress, immunity, and androgen signaling pathways. Beyond aerobic exercise, strength training can be especially helpful in men on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for advanced prostate cancer, who are at higher risk of loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis, and also of weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
If you’re new to exercise, in treatment, or have advanced prostate cancer, consult your health care team to get an exercise program tailored for you.
For more detailed information on exercise, get the guide: The Science of Living Well, Beyond Cancer.