Breast cancer and Nordic Walking

A study, published in the European Journal of Cancer Care earlier in August 2019, analysed the results of nine past studies about the benefits of Nordic Walking for women recovering from breast cancer treatment.

British Nordic Walking breast cancer article

Across the studies, most participants Nordic Walked for between 30 and 80 minutes, one to five days a week.

The study found that Nordic Walking is beneficial for improving common breast cancer symptoms including upper body and core strength, lymphedema, physical fitness and the perception of swelling and pain. It also has positive effects on managing pain and depression associated with breast cancer.

There were no adverse effects found and the study noted that this included no reported falling, an interesting – and useful – point since in women with breast cancer one of the most common adverse effects associated with neurotoxic chemotherapy drugs is an increased risk of falling and fall‐related injuries.

Nordic Walking was found to counteract side effects related to breast cancer treatment such as postural problems, and shoulder and arm mobility more effectively than regular walking.

Nordic Walking was readily adopted even by typically sedentary participants as it is sociable, does not require expensive equipment and can be easily learned.

The study also notes that “(Many) health professionals and therapists do not realise that there are contraindicated exercises during breast cancer rehabilitation and that alternatives such as Nordic walking can be very effective.”

The impact of Nordic Walking on the fitness was shown to be of a greater magnitude when compared with that of other physical therapy rehabilitation strategies, such as water‐based or general fitness exercises. Given that exercise is considered to be an important tool in the rehabilitation for women with breast cancer, it is important that health professionals have a good understanding of the impact that a safe, easy-to-adopt form of exercise can have,

Please contact us if you would like to know more about Nordic Walking or use our search tool to find an instructor and Nordic Walking group near you.

Read about the study:

Nordic walking for women with breast cancer: A systematic review

Read more about this study:

International Business Times article

Read about how one Nordic Walker has become an avid parkrun participant after her experience of breast cancer
Back to blog