While the prostate gland might be exceptionally small in size, conditions affecting the prostate can lead to serious complications. From bacterial infections that cause sepsis to diseases that affect fertility and lead to erectile dysfunction.
There are many reasons why men should aim to take better care of their prostate. Ideally, men want to start caring for this gland from a younger age. It is, however, never too late to start considering methods like exercise to improve overall prostate health.
Several exercises have been shown to provide improvements in prostate function. These exercises are generally easy to do and may also help men who struggle with weight management.
In this post, we outline common symptoms that signal the presence of a prostate problem. We also consider how exercise affects the prostate gland and share some practical prostate exercises men should consider.
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Symptoms Of Prostate Problems And Overactive Bladder
When it comes to taking care of the prostate gland, part of the process involves recognizing problems that develop. Men should realize when specific symptoms indicate a problem with the prostate gland. Additionally, male patients should be aware of different types of prostate conditions. While certain symptoms overlap, each still causes specific effects.
The symptoms among prostate cancer patients, for example, would generally differ from what individuals with chronic prostatitis experience. Knowing how to recognize each condition is important while prioritizing a professional diagnosis from a licensed healthcare provider.
We will consider the most common prostate conditions below. The list will also provide common symptoms associated with each of these conditions.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
This condition is an enlarged prostate. It causes the prostate gland to increase in size. Urinary symptoms are generally common in men with BPH. Some men experience urge incontinence. There may be dribbling after the man urinates. Some men find that they cannot empty their bladder completely. Nocturia is another common symptom, which means the man will experience a more frequent need to urinate at night. The condition may also cause complications, such as the inability to urinate, as well as the development of a urinary tract infection.
An inflammatory condition that affects the prostate gland. The condition can be due to a bacterium that leaks into the prostate gland. This is most common in patients who had a urinary tract infection. There are other causes and triggers, and sometimes the condition is not the result of bacteria. Pain is a common symptom with prostatitis. There may be more severe pain while urinating or ejaculating. Pain may occur in the lower back, the lower abdomen, the anus and rectum, testicles, and inside the penis. Urinary symptoms are also common among patients with prostatitis.
Cancer can affect any part of the body. In the case of prostate cancer, cancerous cells developed in this particular gland. Localized prostate cancer is sometimes not treated immediately and may only cause symptoms once the tumor grows. In patients with advanced prostate cancer, severe symptoms may be experienced. Prostate cancer treatment will be necessary in these cases. The prostate cancer patient may need to undergo radical prostatectomy or prostate surgery.
There are additional symptoms that can sometimes signal the presence of a prostate problem. Some men may experience the onset of erectile dysfunction unexpectedly. This can sometimes be a sign that the patient has a problem with their prostate. Reduced bladder control and a weak urine flow may also be additional symptoms.
Exercise And Prostate Health
Physical activity is something that every person needs daily. It helps the body remain fit and healthy while also aiding in weight management. In addition to being useful for overall well-being, it is important to realize the role exercise may play in promoting a healthier prostate.
Studies have been conducted to provide evidence on how exercise affects the prostate gland. Some studies showed that regular exercise could decrease the risk associated with aggressive prostate cancer by as much as 86%.
In one study, researchers explain that exercise has been shown to influence the risk of cancer types. The study explains that exercise does not only affect prostate cancer risk. The researchers explain that previous studies show a significant reduction in cancer risks among men who are more active.
The same study shows that the introduction of exercise in male patients at risk of prostate cancer seems to yield positive results. An effective reduction in risk factors associated with cancer of the prostate gland can be seen.
There are numerous ways in which exercise may contribute to prostate health. It is also important to note that physical activity does not only affect cancer risk. The risk and severity of conditions like prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia could also possibly be affected.
An important reason why exercise may improve prostate health lies with the weight management benefits.
Obesity and overweight have become serious problems in the modern-day. In the United States, an estimated 73.7% of men are either obese or overweight. Obesity has been linked to a large number of health-related complications, including cancer. Having excess weight in the body puts a man at a higher risk of numerous cancers. This includes prostate cancer.
Challenges Faced With Exercise For Prostate Health
There are, however, challenges people face when looking at exercising for a healthier prostate gland. These challenges can present as obstacles for a man – making it harder for them to gain the benefits of physical activity.
Conditions like prostatitis and prostate cancer can cause significant pain in a male patient. Pain, on the other hand, is a leading cause behind disability throughout the world. With this in mind, it is important to consider the complications and disability that may come with pain symptoms caused by prostatitis. The man may find that it feels uncomfortable to move around when they have pain in the groin area.
Apart from this challenge, men who are already obese may find it hard to start with a new exercise program. Obesity often means a man is unfit. This leads to more effort needed to start with a training program – and men often lack the motivation to do this.
Exercises For Prostate
Numerous exercises can help men promote a healthier prostate. Some of these exercises can also be helpful for men who have developed a prostate condition. Exercises used for prostate health may target the gland itself or rather target the whole body.
In this section, we share a few useful exercises that men should consider. Each of these exercises helps to promote prostate health in specific ways. A combination of different exercises will provide the best results, as this ensures the patient can target their prostate gland, excess fat in the body, and improve their muscle mass.
Kegel exercises have become quite popular in recent years. These exercises focus specifically on the pelvic floor muscles. They are sometimes referred to as a pelvic floor muscle exercise.
The pelvic muscle is an important part of the pelvis. It is responsible for supporting the bowel and the bladder in men-the muscles contract to lift certain organs, which helps the urethra and anus to tighten. Feces are released from the bowels when the pelvic floor muscles relax.
A man is also able to release urine upon the relaxation of these muscles. In addition to playing a role in urination and bowel movement, it should be noted that the pelvic floor muscles are crucial for maintaining sexual function too.
Kegel exercises are easy to do. Men can perform kegel exercises regardless of where they are – even while sitting in front of a computer. They are quick to do and relatively easy to learn. You can do these exercises several times each day.
Experts believe that kegel exercises are excellent for men with prostate cancer. It is often suggested that men perform kegel exercises before undergoing surgery in the prostate. The exercises can also be helpful following such a surgical procedure. In men with urinary troubles, performing kegel exercises may also help in the long run.
How to do kegel exercises
The first step is to find the pelvic floor muscles. The best way to do this is to use the toilet. A man should urinate. While the man urinates, they should stop the stream. Then start the urine stream again. Do this a couple of times. The man will find that there is a specific muscle that contracts when they stop the urine stream mid-way. This is the pelvic muscle.
Once you identify the pelvic muscle, you can continue to do these exercises. Tighten the muscles on demand for about five seconds and then release them. You can do up to 20 of these repetitions during a single session, but it is usually advised that men start out with a smaller number. You should do three or four sessions every day to experience the most benefits.
Kegel exercises are great, but they only work on the pelvic floor muscles. It is important that men also recognize the importance of keeping their physical bodies fit. This helps them lose weight if needed or ensures a healthy weight can be maintained. Regular physical exercise may reduce the risk of prostate cancer and help regulate inflammatory triggers in the human body.
Some studies provide evidence on the positive effects that exercise tends to have on inflammation. In one study, aerobic exercise was used. Participants in the study were all middle-aged men.
A few older men were also included. Study subjects were asked to participate in aerobic exercises. There was a significant improvement in IL-6, TNF-a, and CRP measurements. These are three inflammatory markers that determine the amount of inflammation in the human body.
Additional benefits may be experienced by men who participate in physical exercise programs. For example, among those who receive prostate cancer treatment, exercise offers an excellent way to reduce fatigue. This is a common symptom among men undergoing treatment. With enough exercise in the person’s daily routine, there may also be improvements in anxiety symptoms.
Many men who exercise during such a difficult time find that it helps boost their self-esteem and enhances overall endurance.
Moderate and Vigorous Exercise for The Prostate
There are different types of exercises that men can perform to help improve prostate health, assist with existing problems, and take care of themselves more effectively. Exercises generally divide into two categories; moderate and vigorous activities.
Men who feel like they are a bit limited and those only starting out may consider taking a brisk walk every day. Bicycling is another good example of a moderate-intensity activity that still offers many health benefits. Other than these two, men can also consider:
- Participating in golf, but without a golf cart. Walking around on the golf course will provide some level of exercise. If a man carries his own clubs, it adds some weight while walking.
- Dancing is another great moderate-intensity activity that also helps. Dancing can ensure a man burns enough calories while also contributing to body toning.
Vigorous activities are great for men who like being active and for those who are not new to fitness. Running or jogging tend to be great exercises. Men can also consider walking very fast. Freestyle swimming is an excellent physical activity too. This activity tends to be more vigorous, too, and targets all muscle groups throughout the body.
For those who enjoy sports, men can consider joining a basketball team in their local area. Basketball is also relatively demanding, which means it provides the body with a thorough workout. Another good sport that can help is tennis. Both singles and doubles can help tennis games contribute to a man’s overall physical activity levels.
While these are all great activities, men should still ensure they know their limits. When there is an existing prostate problem, men do not want to push themselves too far. Each person’s body has specific limitations. A man needs to learn how to know when they reach these limits and then stop. This helps to avoid injury, which could come with future complications.
Prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and prostatitis are all common conditions that affect the prostate gland. An enlarged prostate can develop, caused by swelling and possibly increased tissue growth. Pelvic floor exercise, combined with certain physical activities, may help to reduce the risk of prostate conditions. By working on the pelvic floor muscle, it is also possible for men to experience an improvement in urinary symptoms, such as incontinence or urinary leakage.