Movember: Alberta researchers say men benefit from exercise in prostate cancer recovery

Click to play video: 'Fitness program funded by Movember Foundation helping men with prostate cancer'
Fitness program funded by Movember Foundation helping men with prostate cancer
WATCH ABOVE: Su-Ling Goh looks at a special fitness program, just for men with prostate cancer. It's funded by the Movember Foundation and participants say it goes beyond physical health – Nov 2, 2016

A group of researchers from the University of Alberta has teamed up with others across the country to study the effects of exercise on prostate cancer patients.

The TrueNTH Lifestyle Management program aims to improve the survivorship experience for men living with prostate cancer through physical activity, nutrition and stress-reduction resources. The program receives funding through Movember in partnership with Prostate Cancer Canada.

“They have a lot of effects from their cancer treatments,” Margaret McNeely, a University of Alberta associate professor in the physical therapy department, said. “Decreases in fitness, deconditioning, patients often feel that they’re very fatigued with their cancer treatments.”

McNeely runs the program in Edmonton with the help of grad students. Participants get together three times a week for physical fitness training. One day is dedicated to strength training, another for circuit training and yoga. So far, 31 prostate cancer survivors have been through the program in Edmonton.

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READ MORE: Movember with Global Sports’ John Sexsmith: ‘I’m working on living’

“The kind of feedback we’ve gotten from the men has been that they’ve seen improvements in strength, body image as well as energy levels,” McNeely said.

“The big surprise was the benefits of the social environment,” she added. “It creates an energy in the room, and so they all feed off of that energy.”

All of the men who go through the program have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and are allowed to participate no matter when they were diagnosed or what treatment they receive.

“It’s devastating at first,” said Jim Lebuke, who takes part in the TrueNTH Lifestyle Management program.

He said he’s found a community with the men who are taking part.

Watch below: For years, Global Edmonton sports reporter John Sexsmith has been quietly battling prostate cancer. Now, for Movember, he’s going public to shine a spotlight on the disease. Su-Ling Goh has the story.

Click to play video: 'Global Edmonton’s John Sexsmith opens up about Stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis'
Global Edmonton’s John Sexsmith opens up about Stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis

The funding covers a 12-week training program, and the option to return for a 12-week maintenance session, but organizers hope to soon be able to offer an ongoing program.

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Men who take part also have access to online tools for home-based programming.

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In Calgary, the TrueNTH Lifestyle Management program is offered through City of Calgary Recreation, and men in rural Alberta are able to join an online-based program.

To donate to Movember or to join Team Global Domo-nation, the Global Edmonton team led by John Sexsmith, visit the team’s Movember page.

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