I’d like to introduce you to Paul. Last month, Paul was diagnosed with Prostate cancer.
In Males in the UK, Prostate cancer is the most common cancer. About 80% of men who reach the age of 80 will have cancer cells in their prostate. Paul at 77, has a good prognosis and is being well looked after by the NHS. His treatment has started with hormone therapy and will then lead on to brachytherapy and radiotherapy. Hormone therapy works by stopping the body making testosterone, the hormone that feeds the cancer cells.
The problems is that testosterone controls muscle strength, so the treatment will weaken him. Exercise can help this. Exercise after cancer and cancer treatment reduces the risk of prostate cancer mortality by 30% and slows disease progression by up to 57%. Exercise will help reduce the damaging side effects of his treatment and improve his fatigue, depression and post treatment body weight issues.
Paul has been told by his specialist to walk every day, counting 10,000 steps. He has also been told to strengthen his core to help control his bladder and bowel, which will be weakened by the treatment. Paul says, “exercise not only improves health outcomes but just as importantly, improves mood. I am assured by my consultant that my 10,000 steps per day and 2 weekly gym sessions will keep the cancer on the run.” Paul monitors his daily steps by using a clip-on pedometer. He either uses his treadmill at home or tries to walk instead of driving. He is also doing floor-based core and strengthening exercises at home, at least two times a week to help keep his strength and maintain his mental health. These exercises include the bridge, clam, pelvic floor, heel raises and the plank.
It is a pleasure to work with him through this challenging time and I am inspired by his determination and courage. He always manages to maintain a positive mental attitude and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he will beat this. After all, it was his idea to jump out of a plane and skydive two years ago for our 75th and 40th birthdays.
I will be adding the workouts we do together in the useful tips section, but for now, you can find exercises to strengthen the core in the exercise library.
John Molyneux, MolyFit Founder
Heels off the floor. A great core strengthening exercise (above).