Regular physical activity is important for overall health, but for men who have prostate cancer, working out with these three exercises is especially important.
According to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
, men who get regular exercise have a slightly lower risk for developing initial prostate cancer. After a prostate cancer diagnosis, patients who maintain a routine of vigorous activity just three hours each week have a much better survival rate.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation summarized the results
of an interesting study showing that men who engage in brisk walking have healthier looking and more normally shaped blood vessels in their prostate cancer tumors. When these tumors have smaller vessels with irregular shapes, the risk of death is higher.
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Dr. Lorelei Mucci, an author on the study said, “…but this study documents the benefits exercise can confer to a prostate tumor, which may make that tumor less of a threat to the man’s life.”
While any physical activity is positive during prostate cancer, the following three exercises are especially recommended:
1. Kegel exercises
Kegels strengthen the pelvic floor to improve the urinary and sexual side effects of prostate cancer treatment, said Zero, a nonprofit prostate cancer advocacy group
To do kegels, engage the pelvic muscles as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. Try holding the contraction for about five seconds and do twenty repetitions at first. With practice, Kegels can be done anywhere and without anyone noticing you are doing them.
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2. Weight training
Weight training helps to strengthen the bones, said Zero. The androgen deprivation treatment common with prostate cancer can lead to weak bones and osteoporosis, so weight training is important for warding off this condition.
Walking improves the symptoms common with prostate cancer treatment such as weight gain, fatigue, and low mood. Zero recommended walking at an easy pace for three hours per week or a brisk pace for 90 minutes for best results.
The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance said that exercise need not be vigorous to be beneficial. In general, more exercise is better than less, and activity can come from structure exercise or through enjoyable sports and hobbies like dancing, cycling, and gardening.
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