But according to new research, something as simple as walking three hours per week can make a significant difference.
Looking into which types of exercises proved most helpful to prostate cancer survivors, doctors at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine were able to tease out the relationship between walking and improved health outcomes.
The data was taken from a massive study which looked at the health and behavior of 51,529 men in the health care industry. The survey was conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and included data on respondents' exercise routines, diets, smoking habits, doctor visits and more.
As part of the study, participants filled out regular health-related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaires, including details on urinary and bowel problems, sexual function issues, fatigue, depression, body weight and erectile dysfunction. Respondents also charted and categorized cardio-related activities -- jogging, running, cycling, swimming and playing sports.
Finally, the men recorded the amount of time they spent walking each week, whether to and from work or around the neighborhood, and labeled their walking pace as easy, average, brisk or very brisk.
For the latest study, researchers at Northwestern pulled the data on men who had survived a non-advanced form of prostate cancer. When controlling for more high-intensity exercise and potentially disruptive health factors, the researchers found these men were more likely to have an improved health-related quality of life if they walked at a casual pace for at least three hours each week.
However, walking was only shown to be beneficial to hormone-related HRQOL symptoms like fatigue, depression and body weight. Walking was not shown to have any bearing on bowel, urinary, or sexual functioning.
"This study shows that you don't have to engage in high-impact, vigorous activities to improve your quality of life after a prostate cancer diagnosis," lead study author Siobhan Phillips, a kinesiologist at Northwestern Medicine, said in a press release . "Since many prostate cancer survivors might find vigorous activities hard to stick with, the good news is that simply focusing on walking more may be enough to make them feel better."
The study was published this week in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.
(Source by: UPI.COM)