Quality of life can deteriorate for men due to the effects of prostate cancer and its treatment. But a new study shows that engaging in a regular walking regimen can improve well-being.
The finding didn’t come as a surprise to one expert.
“I am a big believer in exercise for overall wellness, and as this study has pointed out, for the management of prostate cancer,” said Dr. Ash Tewari, chair of the department of urology at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.
Tewari said his credo is ” ‘three miles a day keeps the doctor away,’ and that is why I’ve created a ‘Prostate Bootcamp’ in my practice, which involves walking three miles per day.”
In the new study, a team led by Siobhan Phillips of Northwestern University in Chicago tracked outcomes for more than 51,000 early stage prostate cancer survivors in the United States, who completed a survey about their quality of life.
Many of the men reported having urinary and bowel problems, erectile dysfunction and other sexual function problems, as well as weight gain, fatigue and depression.
The men also provided information about the average amount of time per week they spent walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming and playing sports.
According to the study, three hours of “casual” walking per week boosted the men’s health-related quality of life by reducing fatigue, depression and weight issues. Walking at a faster pace for 90 minutes a week provided similar benefits, the team found.
The findings were published April 16 in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice.