Importance of physical activity for prostate cancer patients

When 73 years old Clynton was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in February 2016, simply getting through the treatment regime was his main priority. 37 radiation treatments administered within a short two month period left him with a range of unpleasant side effects, including greatly reduced energy levels. It was not until Clynton discovered a new group exercise class for prostate cancer,  ProstFIT, that his quality of life began to return.

Clynton, who was prompted to get his prostate checked after seeing a men’s health campaign on television, is a staunch advocate of the programme. He claims the main benefits are improved fitness and the opportunity to spend time with people in similar situations. “There is more to it than just exercise – it’s the wellbeing aspect that goes with it,” he says. “It is great to mix with people who have finished, or are going through treatment, and understand the whole process while chatting about life matters in general – normally fishing, cars or sport. The class is tailored to our individual needs and capabilities, and I look forward to it every week.

Fellow class member Don, 69, agrees. He was diagnosed two years ago. “I find the whole thing quite enjoyable,” he said. “We are all in the same boat and we have a good old yarn about our prostates, which is not something that you can do in the pub. The main thing is that we are not struggling through it on our own. I have already noticed a difference in my physical strength and energy levels have increased.

Benefits of exercise for prostate cancer patients

A growing body of research highlights the importance of exercise for prostate cancer patients. Benefits include reduced fatigue, lowered risk of osteoporosis (where bones become weak and less dense), increased strength and aerobic fitness, and improved posture, balance and metabolic function. On average, patients have at least 12 months of inactivity which can result in weight gain, loss of muscle and physical strength which can be a real knock to their confidence. ProstFIT classes also include mindful meditation to support mental as well as physical health during this challenging time.

International research ties exercise with prostate cancer survival, with evidence suggesting that men who are physically active before and after diagnosis have better outcomes.

Our ProstFIT sessions

Regularly weekly classes commence on Wednesdays from the 28th of April from 1-2 pm at Richmond Aquatic Centre. 
There is a charge of $10 per session, but financial support is available if this a barrier to attending.

For more info please contact Leigh Dalzell on 021 547811 or email leighsdream@gmail.com

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