Get the most from your hormonal therapy
Physical activity and keeping moving is a central part of Feel+®, which uses an exercise programme called JAMES® . This involves jogging and walking, abdominal (stomach) exercises, muscle building (weight training) exercises and exercises to improve your overall suppleness. It is the result of years of practice and has been adapted to the physical abilities and age of patients with prostate cancer.
Whether you are active, athletic or sedentary the physical activity component of the Feel+ programme can supplement additional positive changes to your lifestyle that you are making by eating better and be mindful of your overall wellbeing to help you regain the vitality, tone and suppleness that will make your everyday activities easier.
Regularity is the cornerstone of physical activity and, if you exercise often results should come quickly without being forced. In addition to general physical wellbeing, they will provide you with extra energy and possibly even high morale.
The secret of success is regularity. For you to fully benefit from the programme it is recommended that you perform all the exercises each time, at least twice a week, and take a walk or jog for at least 30 minutes three times a week. The goal is to be active at least three to four times a week.
Patients who have followed the programme all give the same advice: schedule exercise sessions as an appointment with your wellbeing in your diary. This is the best way not to ‘forget’ to do the exercise sessions or take walks, or not carry them out because you are slightly tired or too busy.
In addition to these exercises, other lifestyle changes that increase your physical activity are recommended, such as walking or cycling instead of using the car.
Buy yourself a good pair of shoes for walking, not necessarily rambling shoes but good jogging shoes will suffice. Consult a professional. Some shops offer to analyse your gait and your posture before they offer you a shoe to suit your foot. Avoid walking in tight clothing and don’t forget that you heat up with effort; air should be able to circulate without removing clothes.
Buying a heart rate monitor is also advised: this device will inform you of your heart rate and will let you know whether you can push yourself a little or if you have reached your limit. Ask a professional to explain how the device works.
Exercise equipment can be simple and does not have to cost a lot of money to purchase. You will only need a gym mat (which you can roll up and store easily) and small dumbbells, choose two pairs, 2–4 kg. Choose loose cotton clothing to exercise in.
Like equipment or clothing, the choice of a favourable venue helps ‘ritualise’ your efforts. If you prefer to exercise at home, try to choose a quiet, warm room, where you have enough space to perform your movements without worrying about the surrounding furniture. If you prefer to exercise in a group or at a gym then read our tips on choosing a gym.
Some people want privacy, others like family members involved in the programme; do not hesitate to ask for either. Music? Television? See for yourself what helps or affects your concentration. Watch the JAMES exercise being performed in the video from time to time to correct minor bad habits, and keep a bottle of water handy when you exercise!
You are no longer aged twenty; it is normal not to be as strong as you were. The exercises should never be painful or unusually tiring. Never force yourself, but gradually adapt your body to a more active lifestyle. If you are new to exercise, it is better that you start under the supervision of a physiotherapist or a professional coach.
“I began to enjoy this programme very quickly. I had been trying to adopt good habits and perform exercises on my own for a long time so I was very happy that I was given this opportunity. I am not particularly athletic, but I found that there was a real change after two to three weeks.” Josef, aged 80
“Technically, the exercises are not difficult, especially as you go gradually at the start and you do what you can. I have never felt tried or bored, it’s always pleasant. You must take your time, but that is not hard or heavy.” Jan, aged 74
“I felt different from the first week and in better shape after a month. I lost two kilos quickly, no more, but I now weigh what I did at age 40! And I feel good.” Robert, aged 80