Bucharest, Romania – Nordic walking, an aerobic activity performed with walking poles similar to ski poles, may benefit patients with breast cancer, according to a review od existing research.
The low-impact exercise improved swelling, physical fitness, disability and quality of life, the study authors conclude in the European Journal of Cancer Care.
“The main strategy in rehabilitation for women with breast cancer is a change of habits, where physical exercise is a fundamental tool”, said study co-author Jorge Torres of the Faculty of Educational Sciences and Sports at the University of Vigo in Pontevedra, Sapain.
“It’s not easy to turn a sedentary person into an amateur athlete, so sports such as Nordic walking are accepted more easily”, Torres told Reuters Health by email, particularly since the activity doesn’t require expensive equipment, can be done in a group with others, and is easy to learn.
Introduced in the 1980s as a summer training exercise that was similar to cross-country, or Nordic, skiing, Nordic walking became more widespread in the 2000s. It’s now part of some exercise-based rehabilitation programs, especially in Northern Europe where it is more common, Torres noted.