Exercise: A critical component for prostate health
You’ve heard the mantra: Exercise for heart health, exercise for bone health, and even exercise for brain health. What about exercising for prostate health? Likely you have not been told to exercise for this inconspicuous gland tucked away deep within your groin. Yet, besides your heart, bones, and brain reaping the benefits from physical activity, so does your prostate.
Why exercise matters for prostate health
Physical activity and exercise are vital components for keeping the prostate healthy, especially for men fighting prostate cancer. Exercise is crucial for fighting the disease, helping reduce potential side effects, and preventing a recurrence. Studies have shown physical activity improves a patient’s physical health and emotional well-being. In addition, a regular workout routine is essential for managing healthy body weight and maintaining muscle mass and bone strength, which can benefit prostate health too.
Leading an active lifestyle when diagnosed with prostate cancer can also help improve a man’s survival rate. For example, walking one to three hours a week can lower the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 86%. In addition, other research has found men participating in three hours or more of vigorous exercise have a 61% lower risk of prostate cancer death.
The thing about physical activity and exercise is that it simply means moving your body more throughout the day. Anytime you move, you use energy, muscles, joints, and bones, putting them into action. Movement can include walking, jogging, gardening, dancing, climbing stairs, jumping ropes, jumping jacks, lifting weights, or anything that gets you moving and being physically active.
Most men can benefit significantly from moderate bouts of exercise. Two examples of moderate exercise include:
- Brisk walking at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour
- Bicycling at a speed of less than 10 miles per hour
Men who are obese are particularly at risk for aggressive prostate cancer that may double their risk of dying from the disease and quadruple their risk of cancer spreading to the bones or lymph nodes.
Benefits of routine exercise for a healthy prostate
Exercise, for men with or without prostate cancer, makes sense. For men with prostate cancer, exercise has certain benefits both during and after treatment:
- Boosts endurance and muscle strength
- Manages a healthy weight
- Heart health improves
- Boosts optimism and self-esteem
- Reduces fatigue, anxiety, and depression
- Improves sleep quality
The main takeaway for men is to schedule a regular exercise routine, including aerobic exercise, weight lighting, and flexibility. When combined with a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and stress management, men can live a healthy, long life with fewer prostate issues.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.