ACTIVITY & RECOVERY
Walking & activity are a major component of recovery and a leading indicator of progress. Following treatment, your medical team will instruct you to walk early and often, up to 5-6 times per day. This direction is designed to get you up, out of bed, and moving, so your key body functions will return to normal as quickly as possible.
According to a 2014 study, exercise may increase your chances of long term prostate cancer survival. Whether it is a few steps taken inside the house or a 60 minute walk outside, it all counts. The duration of each outing will vary based on where you are in your healing process.
Start by counting steps, then move to counting minutes, building your practice and incorporating other activities (yard work, golf, hunting, running, biking, etc.) as your body will allow. Each day add more steps or time to what you had done the previous day. Slow and steady progress is the key.
To meet your goals, we've developed the Recovery Activity Tracker so you can keep tabs on each outing. While recovery can feel painfully slow and tedious at time, tracking your activity can help you see tangible progress over time, so you celebrate the little wins, from week to week, and one month to the next.
During your first week of recovery, the bulk of your walking may be indoors, with only 150-500 steps taken per session. The following week, when the catheter has been removed, you might do a combination of indoor and outdoor walks, with between 500 and 1000 steps per session. By the third week you might do a combination of indoor and outdoor walks, and use either steps or minutes as your tracking metric.
FORMER PATIENT TIPS:
Monitor your energy: The duration and intensity of your walks should be based on how you feel and level of energy at the beginning or each session. Don't over-do it.
Move whenever you can: Walking inside the house, or walking in place, is just as beneficial as walking outside. Remember, It all counts.
Change it up: Add variety to your routine. Each walking session doesn’t need to be the same, just get your walks in throughout the day.
Incremental progress is key: The focus should be on making consistent progress, not distance or speed. Success is all about progressively building up your strength and stamina.
Set reminders: Consider setting an alarm to ring every hour and a half to remind yourself to get your walk in.
Steps: 100-250, 250-500, 500-1000, 1000-2000
Minutes: 3-5, 5-10, 10-15, 15-20, 20-30, 30-45, 45-60, 60+
Pace: Minimal, Slow, Moderate, Brisk
‘RECOVERY WALKING TRACKER’ CODES:
S = Steps
M = Minutes
PACE LEVEL: 1-5
Y = Outside
ENERGY LEVEL: 1-10
EXAMPLE 1: ‘ S60 1H1’ represents :
Walking 60 Steps, at a slow pace (1), you walked in the house (H),
and your energy level was very low (1)
EXAMPLE 2: ‘ M6 3Y2’ represents:
Walking for 6 minutes, at a medium pace (3), you walked outside (Y) ,
and your energy level was low (2)
To create a strong foundation for your walking practice, you may want to work with your medical team to formulate a plan of action. Studies show that patients who set goals, outline a plan and draft a contingency list summarizing how they will overcome challenges and set-backs in getting back on their feet after surgery, have drastically better post-op outcomes.
ADDITIONAL WALKING & EXERCISE RESOURCES:
The Value of Early Walking after Surgery
UW Health outlines the importance of walking early after surgery.
Exercise After Prostate Removal
Virginia Mason delves into why exercise important after prostate surgery.