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Intense Exercise Key to a Healthy Prostate
Studies show that intense exercise three times a week is linked with a 60 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk. Read more about this below.
Did you know that over 190,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in the United Stated each year?
In fact, the American Cancer Society estimates that prostate cancer is the second-largest killer of men, killing 35,000 men each year. While many men can have prostate cancer and never see any ill side effects, other men have serious complications that ultimately lead to death. This means that no matter how low your risk for prostate cancer, there is still a chance that the disease can kill you.
Luckily, there are several things you can do to lower your risk of developing prostate cancer. These methods, combined with the following 12 effective exercise methods to reduce prostate cancer risk, can lower your chances of dying from prostate cancer.
Before you jump into prostate cancer prevention, make sure you don’t have it first. The only no-fail method for detecting prostate cancer combines a blood test and a rectal exam. If an enlarged prostate is detected after these exams, a doctor usually orders a biopsy to confirm the presence of cancer.
However, not everyone benefits from cancer testing. Ask your doctor to test for a prostate exam if you have the following problems: Problems urinating: trouble getting urine out, a slow urine stream, a weak urine stream, or a stream that starts and stops several times. The need to urinate more often, particularly at night, may also be a warning sign.
If you only have a few of these symptoms, you could be suffering from BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). This is an enlargement of the prostate gland that will not spread to other areas of the body.
However, BPH is still annoying, and some of the same treatments for the prevention of prostate cancer can also reduce BPH risk and even reduce swelling in the prostate gland. Even if you are not approaching the age of 50 or older, you can still benefit from implementing these prostate cancer-preventing habits. The longer you exercise and eat a healthy diet, the fewer health problems you will face as an older adult.
According to numerous studies, exercise protects against inflammation in the prostate as well as BPH and prostate cancer. Current research suggests that during exercise, harmful levels of testosterone and DHT are reduced. When testosterone and DHT are allowed to overrun the body, these hormones cause the enlargement of the prostate (as well as other problems like hair loss, high blood pressure, and even an increased risk for heart attack).
Just like any other hormone, the key to a healthy prostate is hormone balance. Both too-low and too-high levels of testosterone can cause problems in men. Luckily, exercise is a well-established regulator for hormones. Exercise preformed outdoors in sunlight may be even more beneficial.
A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of California examined nearly 3,000 men with prostate cancer for 18 years. During this time, men who exercised intensely for three hours a week were 61 percent less likely to die from prostate-related complications. The three hours of intense exercise were important, as men who exercised for an hour or less with easy exercise had no reduced death rate.
30,000 answers recorded in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study revealed that men who were more active were less likely to have BPH or prostate problems of any kind. Walking at a moderate pace, as well as more intense exercises, also showed a protective effect against prostate cancer and BPH. In one study from Italy, men with chronic prostatitis (infection in the prostate) were told to conduct areonic exercise or non-aerobic exercise three times a week for 18 weeks. At the end of the study, both groups of men had reduced prostatitis symptoms, but the men in the aerobic group showed much higher improvements in pain, which indicates that the elevated heart rate that aerobic exercise provides will offer the biggest benefit in reducing prostate cancer and BPH risk.
What qualifies as intense exercise?
Anything that gets the heart rate above its normal heart rate counts as intense exercise. If you are breathing heavily during the exercise, then it is intense. The following exercises may be of particular benefit for men with prostate problems according to Harvard Health. Consult with your doctor before starting any intense exercise program, particularly if you have other health issues or are on medication.
According to Harvard Health, 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week will ensure you get the protective benefits of exercises against prostate cancer and prostate enlargement. Vary your activities to prevent boredom.
Exercise alone can help prevent prostate problems, but you will see the biggest benefit if you also try these other prostate-protecting measures:
Doctors and scientists both agree that a healthy diet is good for you. But today’s men eat far too much unhealthy fat, processed foods, and sugars. Simply by reducing processed foods, unhealthy fats (vegetable fats and trans fats are at the top of the list of unhealthy fats), and sugar, you will significantly improve your health. Rather than focusing on “dieting” nutritionists recommend adopting the following lifestyle changes:
Can you reduce prostate cancer risk with natural supplements? Studies have suggested that you may be able to reduce prostate cancer risk or BPH risk by supplementing with certain nutrients. These supplements may be effective in treating BHP (enlarged prostate) or help prevent prostate cancer according to Healthline:
Nettle: Nettles are not so great to touch, but when taken in supplement form, the nettle root can work magic against an enlarged prostate. Healthline states that nettle root is a common treatment for BPH in Europe.
Saw Palmetto: The big prostate-healing supplement is saw palmetto. This herb comes from a palm tree and is the most effective remedy for prostate health. Studies show that saw palmetto supplements are effective in reducing BPH symptoms.
Beta-sitosterol: Beta-sitosterol contains several herbal plant parts which is taken to relieve any urinary-related symptoms of BPH. Beta-sitosterol is effective in restoring urinary function in men who suffer from urinary problems because of BPH or prostate cancer.
Pygeum: The African plum tree pygeum has been used as an herbal remedy for thousands of years. Just like beta-sitosterol pygeum is used to relieve urinary-related symptoms of BPH and prostate cancer. Pygeum is a common prostate remedy in Europe. Pygeum’s most notable benefit is that it can reduce urinary frequency. This will not only benefit the prostate, but it will also benefit your sleep schedule.
Soy Isoflavones: Soy may be protective against BPH and prostate cancer because it can help eliminate excess testosterone and DHT. A study from 2010 found that individuals with rising PSA levels (a warning sign of prostate cancer) and existing prostate cancer were able to slow the progression of their prostate cancer by drinking a soy beverage every day for 6 months.
While nothing will reduce all risk of developing BPH or prostate cancer, these studies indicate that a few healthy habits will significantly decrease your risk. Regular exercise alone can reduce risk by up to 60 percent. Other healthy habits, such as taking supplements to boost prostate health and eating a healthy diet will also provide additional benefits. With just a few small changes, you can reduce your risk for suffering from the second-largest cancer-related killer of men. As an added bonus, you will also benefit your overall health and reduce your risk of dying from any disease-related cause. After implementing these changes, your prostate will thank you and you will feel healthier and happier than ever no matter your age.
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