Exercise Expert

The purpose of this webpage is to describe the aerobic and strength training program being offered as part of the Prostate Cancer Patient Empowerment Program, PCPEP.

Our exercise program is meant to augment other exercise programs offered within or outside of the medical system as long as the men are exercising almost every day and do strength training at least twice per week. We recommend that men starting PCPEP meet with a Clinical Exercise Physiologist (or trained professional) prior to starting the program for assessment, to learn the correct techniques, and to have their program modified as need be.

Who is Eligible for PCPEP

Men joining the program must have a diagnosis of prostate cancer at any point in time, have a life expectancy of more than two years (almost all newly diagnosed men), and must be deemed safe to do aerobic exercise and strength training. For now the men must agree to participate in a research trial measuring their quality of life online at baseline, 6, 12 and 24 months to have access to this free program.

Men with metastatic prostate cancer involving bone will be screened and followed more closely.  Your role in assessing and supporting these men is especially important see pcpep.org/bonemets for an overview of what these men with bone metastasis are expected to do).

Overview of PCPEP

PC-PEP is a 6-month home-based comprehensive health-promotion in which men receive daily emails and videos which teach and encourage them to

•       Exercise – daily aerobic, strength training by video twice per week

•       Pelvic floor exercises – 3 times 10min per day (videos, text reminders)

•       Relaxation technique using biofeedback – 10min per day

•       Healthy dietary advice and relationship teaching via daily video

•       Optional social support 

•       Call two co-participants once a week

•       Monthly videoconference with all men on program

To learn more about PCPEP view this 10-minute video and check out this website.

Description of the Aerobic Exercise Recommendations

We encourage the men to do some form of aerobic exercise every day – following the recommended guidelines. The strength training sessions count towards the aerobic exercise, and we hope the men can work up to (or at least maintain) 30 minutes of moderate intense exercise daily. We also encourage them to move every hour to protect against the negative effects of sedentarism.

Description of Strength Training Program

This video contains 5 second clips of all 18 exercises used in the program.

You can also download this sheet which lists the exercises and provides a visual and short description of each exercise. 

Description

This is a home-based program in which men follow a video twice per week. Men use elastic bands and their own body weight in each exercise. A yoga mat or soft carpet is helpful for the exercises done on the floor.  

We ask them do workout A (the first 9 exercises seen in the video above) on Monday and workout B (last 9 exercises) on Thursday.

Workout A and Workout B each have 4 levels of difficulty. 

  • Level 1 has 15 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest for each exercise
  • Level 2 has 20 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest
  • Level 3 has 30 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of rest
  • Level 4 has 45 seconds of work followed by 12 seconds of rest

During the ‘work’ phase the men are do the exercise at a moderate pace while maintaining proper technique. It’s more important that they do the exercise correctly than maximizing the number of reps.  They will do a set of each exercise 4 times during the 30 minutes.  

The men receive links to videos of all 4 levels of difficulty every Monday and every Thursday. They choose which level they want to follow each time. They also have access to all videos in the program so can do extra sessions at any time during the week. 

We recommend the men start with Level 1 for a couple of weeks unless they are already doing some type of strength training or are otherwise very fit. You can help them choose the appropriate level.

Modifying the Program

Please use your clinical judgment to modify the program for each man.  You can modify the technique or add props to keep the exercise safe and helpful or substitute other exercises as you see fit. 

We have a CEP on our Research Team as a resource to you and the men.  Please reach out to us at any time should you have questions, concerns or feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks for your help and expertise in supporting these men.

Please contact us / Project Research Coordinator, Mr. Cody MacDonald, here

Email: PEP@nshealth.ca or call 902-237-6277 or fill out the contact form.

Lab’s Address: Nova Scotia Health Authority & Dalhousie University, Urology Department, Room 2902, 5th Floor Victoria Building, VG Site1276 South Park StreetHalifax, NS, Canada, B3H 2Y9

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