After losing her boyfriend to testicular cancer, Sydney Riglin is encouraging all patients undergoing treatment for men's cancers to get physically active.

Riglin’s boyfriend, Brock Hirsche, was the captain of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns hockey team when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in January 2016. Throughout his treatment, Hirsche and Riglin stayed as active as possible.

“From an active young man being put in a bed or told not to do as much, it was pretty difficult,” said Riglin. ““We walked a lot. If it was cold, we frequented the malls. Got him up and going.”

Hirsche passed away in April of this year at the age of 26.

Drawing from her own experience at Hirsche’s side, Riglin saw a need to encourage the support people to help push their loved ones to become physically active during their treatment.  She is one of the organizers of #MoveThatMan,  a social media campaign encouraging patients to get moving.

Patients are asked to snap a photo or record a video of them exercising and to share it using the #MoveThatMan hashtag.

Mike Dew, a University of Calgary exercise physiologist, says exercise in beneficial throughout all of the stages of cancer treatment.

“It can have physical benefits, psychological benefits, social benefits,” explained Dew. “ The evidence is just enormous right now on the overall quality of life benefits it has during survivorship.”

Dew says male patients normally require additional motivation to get moving.  “We tend to be more of a stubborn group and there’s a little bit of a need to get men going and usually that comes from support people.”

Men’s cancers receive a significant awareness push in November as the Movember moustache-growing campaign raises funds for the cause.

With files from CTV’s Stephanie Wiebe