Prostate cancer is snatching the lives of our Black men at rapid rates. Black men are 2.4 times more likely to die from the disease than White men. Men who have the disease often feel like they’re at the helpless mercy of medicine and the universe to cure their woes. Exercise has been proven to lower the risk of developing prostate cancer and helps to soothe the symptoms of those suffering from the disease.
Studies have show that rigorous physical activity has an even greater effect on the survival outcomes of advanced prostate cancer. A lot of the current treatments for the disease do more harm than good. Osteoporosis is a result of hormone therapy to treat the disease. Urinary incontinence can come from surgery. Exercise helps to eliminate both of these harmful effects of prostate treatment. Here are some exercise tips for the prevention and maintenance of prostate cancer.
Steven McDaniels is a personal trainer and Director of Fitness & Athletics at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida. This fitness expert provides us with a well-rounded look at the implications of this disease and how to effectively manage this disease with the proper exercise .
How does exercise help improve prostate health with all of the debilitating symptoms it brings ?
Once you have a prostate-related medical issue, exercise will likely play a positive role in improving the way you feel. For example, with prostatitis and an enlarged prostate, some of the problematic symptoms are not only pain but psychological conditions that affect the person’s quality of life such as depression and anxiety. These psychological conditions not only worsen pain but also discourages a good quality of life. Prostate cancer carries additional issues since treatments can be debilitating to the patient. Treatment of prostate cancer can include significant side effects such fatigue, loss of muscle and bone mass, reduced muscle strength, osteoporosis, fatigue and psychological problems such as anxiety, loss of confidence, and depression. The major concern is that this weakness could lead to an unfortunate fall and potential fracture.
Nevertheless, exercise still can be effective in managing the side effects of these conditions. Exercise may improve the patient’s experience of pain and accompanying psychological conditions. This directly improves our quality of life. With prostate cancer survivors, the treatment may leave them fatigued, which may prevent them from engaging in the proper levels of normal physical activity. That can make going to work, taking care of oneself, or engaging in leisure activities more challenging than before. Exercising through aerobic fitness and strength training will help to improve stamina, strengthen weak muscles and bones, and boost confidence, as well.
What types of physical activity can be done to diminish the symptoms of prostate issues?
- Aerobic Training: Any aerobic physical activity is fine. Therefore, running while huffing and puffing on a treadmill is not necessary unless you want to. Feel free to go walking, play tennis, basketball, swim, play racquetball or go golfing.
- Strength Training: Lift weights with traditional dumbbells, focusing on all the major muscles groups of the body such as the arms, shoulders, chest, back and legs. There are no specific strength training exercises that need to be done.
- How many days per week?The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week for cancer survivors, during and after treatment. This can be broken up anyway that one would like throughout the week. Exercising between 2-5 days per week, depending on your schedule, would be ideal
Another exercise to think about is Kegels. Yes, even men can perform Kegels. Prostate surgery minimizes the pelvic muscles strength and increases the risk for incontinence. Kegels are designed to counteract those effects.
If you’re still clueless on how to perform Kegels this is how you do it:
Your pelvic floor muscles can be activated by stopping your urine in midstream. You can tell you’re doing it right by looking for a lift in your penis while performing this action. The goal is to isolate your pelvic floor muscles. In order to locate these muscles, it’s recommended that you lie on your back and place your hands on your stomach. As you’re doing this you shouldn’t feel any movement under your hands as you tense up your pelvic floor. You shouldn’t leak while performing this. If you do, please consult with your doctor.
Here are two kegel routines for pre and post surgery:
You can perform this while lying down or sitting in a chair. Do whatever is comfortable for you. Contract your pelvic floor for 10 seconds, rest 10 seconds. Repeat this five times, 3 times a day until surgery.
You want to perform this surgery after the catheter is removed. Please consult with your doctor before doing this exercise.
Gently contract your pelvic floor while lying down, hold for three seconds and relax for 15 seconds. Repeat this five times, three times a day. Gradually increase the intensity of the contraction each day. Be mindful of your limits while performing this to not over exert yourself. As you increase contractions and one second to the contraction time while simultaneously reducing the rest time in between. The goals are to eventually hold for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this five times, three times a day.
Next, you’re going to perform this standing up or sitting down. Repeat this exercise using the same intervals as above except this time you’re starting off with a five-second-hold, 15 second rest period with the end goal of 10-second hold and 10-second-relax.
This information comes from Black Doctors. It needs to be passed on to every man you know.