Exercise is shown to benefit physical health in numerous ways, and now there is a growing body of research showing regular exercise helps prevent prostate issues such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.The Health Professionals Follow-up Study found that men who exercised regularly were less likely to suffer from BPH and were 20% less likely to have erectile dysfunction. But how much exercise, and what kinds? While there is still a lack of specific research on how exercise affects prostate health, here are some great tips based on what research has been done so far.
1. Include Aerobic Exercise
Exercise that is good for your heart is also good for prostate and sexual health. Do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, like swimming, biking, speed walking, or hiking on most days of the week. You can also add in strength training exercises like working with free weights or weight machines on alternating days.
2. Include Exercise That Increases the Release of Antioxidants
Antioxidants have cancer-fighting benefits. Exercise that promotes endurance, or your ability to steadily continue that exercise for an extended period of time, is considered “antioxidant exercise.” You could walk, hike, bike, swim, or pick another stamina-building exercise you like so that you’ll stick with it.
3. Do Interval Training
Belly fat is linked to an increased risk of BPH and prostate cancer. Men can reduce belly fat through a healthy diet and exercise that focuses on interval training. Interval training exercise burns fat by boosting the body’s metabolism keeping it in a fat-burning range. When the body does an activity like running for a long period of time, it gets used to the motion and the metabolism drops and levels off. However, when doing short bursts of different exercises, the body doesn’t have time to get used to one motion. Therefore, the body’s metabolic rate doesn’t drop; it continues to be in an optimal fat-burning range. Interval training even increases a person’s resting metabolic rate for up to 24 hours after exercising.
4. Do Kegal Exercises
Contrary to popular belief, these aren’t just for postpartum women. Kegal exercises are especially helpful for men who have BPH symptoms. For men to do a Kegal, they must squeeze the muscles they would use to hold back their urine. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds and release. Three sets of 10 Kegals every day should contribute to better bladder control.
5. Exercise at Least Three Times a Week
Men with early-stage prostate cancer who did vigorous exercise for at least three hours every week activated more tumor-suppressing genes and more genes involved in repairing DNA than those who exercised less, according to a study presented to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
A healthy lifestyle can reduce risk for many health issues, including prostate problems. Exercise is already recommended to improve health, however, if you’re having prostate-related symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, frequent urination or trouble urinating, or elevated PSA levels, contact us to schedule a screening.