It’s time to talk about that mysterious, little known buddy-up-your-butt, the prostate....
Forget Six Packs and Biceps– Your Workouts Are Also Good for your Prostate
Go ahead and shake off the discomfort. So many guys are uncomfortable discussing prostates. All too often, it evokes uncomfortable thoughts of placing your elbows on the doctor's table while someone who was once just your doctor becomes something very different in your mind. Perhaps you even had a John Mulaney kind of experience having your prostate checked that ultimately turned out to be comical, if not humiliating.
But the thing is, guys need to think more about prostate health. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. Approximately 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. And cancer isn't the only thing that you need to be mindful of when it comes to your prostate. A low functioning or abnormal prostate can affect everything from your semen production to urination frequency, erectile dysfunction to pain and discomfort.
Whether it makes you uncomfortable to talk about it or not, people with prostates need to be mindful of the way that organ affects their overall health and wellness. That's why it's important to learn how to perform self-examinations and to follow your doctor's recommendations for physicals and follow-up appointments.
Additionally, there are plenty of supplements you can take that also assist with prostate health. Saw palmetto and men's multivitamins, for example, provide your body with the nutrients needed for your prostate to continue functioning at its optimal capacity.
If you're frequently going to the gym, you may also be doing even more to protect the health of your prostate. That's right– it turns out that standard exercise (no Kegels exercises or... inserted... jade eggs required) can help to prevent prostate swelling and prostatitis, and it can also inhibit cancer progression and morbidity.
In an ongoing Harvard-based study, it has been confirmed that "men who were more physically active were less likely to suffer from BPH. Even low- to moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking regularly at a moderate pace, yielded benefits." BPH, or Benign prostatic hyperplasia (more commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate) is an incredibly common and incredibly inconvenient medical condition most frequently associated with frequent urination and ejaculatory issues. Just as physical fitness helps to strengthen your heart, which helps prevent heart disease from forming, exercise has a similar effect on your prostate. The more you exercise, the lower your risks of running into issues with BPH.
In more severe circumstances, in a study of more than 1,400 men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, exercising for at least 3-hours per week reduced the likelihood of cancer progression by 57% percent. On top of that, as noted in a Harvard-based follow-up study, "men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer who engaged in vigorous activity at least three hours each week had a 61% lower chance of dying from the illness, compared to men who engaged in vigorous activity less than one hour a week."
Here at Self-Himprovement, we're big advocates of exercise and physical fitness not because we think guys need rippling muscles and a statuesque physique. Instead, we advocate for it because research like this continues to pop up. Each month it seems that doctors are recognizing more and more ways in which regular exercise enables you to live better. Whether it's regulating your mental health or protecting your prostate, exercise is a vital part of a well-rounded life.