Although a diagnosis of cancer of the prostate can be scary, men have many options when it comes to fighting it. Though there are a few things that your doctor can recommend based on your family history and other health risks, exercise has been considered for decreasing your chance of getting prostate cancer. One of the options that are gaining traction in the medical community is cardio exercise, however, there are still questions as to the validity of prescribing cardio exercise for preventing prostate cancer. In this short post, you’ll learn the role that exercise can play in fighting prostate cancer, as well as gain some important tips for embarking on an exercise plan to help keep you healthy, whether you have cancer or not.

Contributing Factors

According to the Mayo Clinic, men who carry around extra weight – that is men who have a BMI of 30 or more – may be at increased risk of cancer of the prostate. Those who maintain a healthy weight have a better chance of dealing with different cancers, including cancers that affect the prostate. Since exercise is among the top means of managing weight, it could help to decrease your risk of cancer. However, adding exercise to your regimen is not going to cure cancer and you should follow your doctor’s recommendations. In addition to minimizing your risk of cancer, exercise can help you with a ton of different health risks so in addition to your cancer concerns, exercise may be the answer for many other health concerns.

Exercise and Cancer of the Prostate

Studies show that men who regularly exercise have a decreased risk of contracting the disease. This is likely due to many health benefits of exercise with cancer only being one of the benefits. As always, men who embark on new exercise regimens should check in with their doctors first to see if they can safely incorporate exercise into their lives. If you have brittle bones or other health concerns, there may be limitations or modifications that you should make to your exercise regimen. Exercise helps more than just decrease your risk of cancer. It also helps with a number of other health conditions and overall wellness. With that in mind, your doctor may recommend that you exercise more often, even if you aren’t at high risk of cancer.

Some Considerations

A Johns Hopkins article further clarifies this issue for men by saying that it is unclear if it’s the exercise or the subsequent weight loss that comes from exercise that keeps prostate cancer at bay. In light of this, it’s best for men to adopt a healthy lifestyle in general if they want to maintain their health.  Meaning, that if your drive to exercise is specifically to prevent prostate cancer, that isn’t necessarily going to result in you not getting it. However, if you are interested in overall health, then exercise can be helpful. Of course, there are different types of exercise that are best for different aspects of your health. High cardio exercises, for example, are great for your cardio health. Strength training, on the other hand, may be better for joint stabilization. In addition to exercise, modifications to both how active you are as well as what you eat will likely be required if you want to get the benefits. 

What Types of Exercise?

Men who take up exercise to fight cancer are given the same guidelines that everyone is given when it comes to exercising. That is, it’s important to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. This exercise plan should include strength training, aerobic exercise, and flexibility training. Those who have the best chances of success choose exercises that they enjoy and that they can and will do regularly. Some good choices include walking, yoga, weight training, martial arts, and pilates, though men are not limited to these exercises. If you aren’t sure about a specific exercise or if you are wondering if you should hire a professional to help you navigate an exercise and diet program, then consider talking to your doctor about it.

In general, those wishing to prevent cancer of the prostate should consider adding exercise to their daily regimes. Scientific research suggests that regular exercise may play a key role in fighting cancer. This, plus a balanced diet and other health-giving practices, help to support men’s health, whether they have cancer or not. Of course, whatever you decide to do for your exercise regimen, pay attention to your body’s response to it and make sure that you make modifications as needed.