Fulham fitness facility helps cancer patient keep up favourite fitness sessions


The David Lloyd Health Club on Fulham Road, London SW6, has stepped up to help Pete Mills, 64, a retired father of two from Wiltshire, keep up his favourite group exercise classes while receiving treatment for prostate cancer at the nearby Royal Marsden Hospital. 

Pete has a prostate problem but is otherwise incredibly fit and well. His high level of fitness helped him cope well with his prostate reduction surgery and will be key to helping him cope with his imminent course of radiotherapy. Problem is, Pete’s treatment will be miles away from his home and while living in London he wants to continue his much-loved Les Mills group exercise sessions.  When Les Mills heard about Pete’ problem, they called on David Lloyd Fulham which immediately offered Pete a complimentary guest membership while he’s in London.

“I am bowled over by the help and generosity of David Lloyd Fulham who didn’t hesitate to help me,” says Pete.  “The Les Mills BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP and BODYBALANCE classes got me into peak fitness and I didn’t want to stop doing them while undergoing treatment.  Quite apart from the physical benefits, the mental and social lift I get from group exercise if fantastic.  I can’t tell you how pleased and relieved I am that I can keep with my Les Mills fitness programme at David Lloyd.”

“When we got the call to ask if we could help, I didn’t hesitate for a minute before saying yes,” says Kristen Westwood David Lloyd Fulham Centre Manager.  “I am fully aware how effective group exercise programmes are and how people rely on them for physical, mental and social benefits.  When I heard about Pete’s plight, I was only too happy to help him,” he continues.  “Pete has done a couple of trial classes before his radiotherapy programme begins to meet the instructors and fellow class members.  Now he’s all set up with us and I hope our support will help him navigate his next phase of treatment while staying away from home,” he says.


Cancer diagnosis

Pete was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January 2019 and his consultant is Mr Declan Cahill, Consultant Urological Surgeon at The Royal Marsden Hospital, London.  Once the diagnosis was complete, Pete opted for medication to reduce the tumour and radiotherapy to remove it completely.

“Mr Cahill was very pleased to see my high level of fitness and said it would help me cope with the treatment, surgery and medication I faced to control the growth of the tumour,” says Pete.  “The treatment invariably causes muscle wastage and loss of bone density so when he found out more about the classes I did, he told me to keep going with them and stressed the importance of resuming my regime as soon after surgery I could manage.”

Pete had his surgery on April 8, 2019 and was back doing his exercise classes within eight days.  He is due to start radiotherapy later this month at the Royal Marsden Chelsea under Mr Cahill and is delighted he can continue his BODYCOMBAT and BODYPUMP sessions throughout.  “My fitness regime is hugely important to me and I draw great strength – mentally and physically – from the sessions,” says Pete.

Great results

BODYCOMBAT is a high-energy, martial arts-inspired non-contact workout which combines punches, kicks and strikes while BODYPUMP is a full-body weights workout aimed at getting you lean, toned and fit.  Both classes are set to motivating music. “Initially I was daunted by the fact I was often the only man in the class and a good few years older than the others but, seeing the results, wonder why more men don’t do these classes,” says Pete.

“When I first met Pete, I was impressed by the amount of exercise he did and pleased to see he was in good shape,” says Mr Cahill.  “Patients who go into cancer surgery, medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy with a high level of fitness respond much better to the treatment and recover faster as Pete is proving,” he says.  “People who have good muscle tone seem to tolerate the treatment better – both hormone therapy and chemotherapy,” says Mr Cahill.  “Muscle strength arises from doing resistance work in the gym or an exercise classes where you lift weights and use your own body weight as resistance: Pete’s choice of fitness session is perfect.”

Proven Programmes

“Our programmes are scientifically researched and validated to bring the results we promise and I’m delighted that Pete’s experience with us has been so positive,” says Wendy Coulson, CEO Les Mills UK and Ireland. “Apart from the physical benefits of doing cardiovascular and strength training classes, there are significant mental and social benefits from group exercise.  Not only are our instructors highly trained to deliver and moderate the sessions to suit everyone in the class but the group dynamic is inspirational and encouraging,” she continues.

“I have no doubt my fitness helped me face my diagnosis, surgery and follow-up treatment and I would urge men – especially those of a certain age – to look at this exercise option,” says Pete. “The Les Mills programmes have made a tremendous difference to me in the last few months and will continue to do so for years to come I’m sure.”

Pete’s Prostate Problem

Pete’s blog – Pete’s Prostate Problem (https://petesprostateproblem.home.blog/)  – aims to help bring attention to the disease and encourage men to get fit.