Exercise is a great way to stay trim and boost
your heart health, but researchers are now finding another benefit: better odds
against prostate cancer. But how does exercise affect men who have been
diagnosed with prostate cancer? Here we’ll outline those benefits, as well as
the benefits of exercise in reducing your chances of getting prostate
Should You Exercise with Prostate Cancer?
Emerging scientific evidence suggests that
exercising for a few hours a week can help keep prostate tumors from advancing
or prevent them from developing in the first place. Here are some of the
benefits of adopting an exercise routine:
the effects of prostate cancer treatment, including fatigue, weight gain, and
your risk of other chronic diseases
What’s the Best Exercise for Prostate Cancer?
Nearly any type of exercise can be beneficial
to prostate cancer patients and maintaining a balanced exercise program
benefits all areas of the body. It’s also important to note that you don’t have
to do vigorous exercise to see the benefits and that high-intensity exercise
isn’t recommended for prostate cancer patients. Here are some of the exercises
that are beneficial for prostate cancer patients:
Men’s Health: Deferred Maintenance
Listen to our conversation with Dr. Eli Pendleton to learn about common health issues affecting mean throughout the decades.
Kegel exercises are easy exercises you can do
before and after your prostate cancer treatment to help strengthen your pelvic
floor muscles. These muscles help control urine flow and exercising them with
Kegels is one of the most effective ways of controlling incontinence without
medication or surgery.
How Do I Do a Kegel Exercise?
and hold your pelvic floor muscles for five seconds
your pelvic muscles
You have just done one Kegel exercise. Plan on
doing 10-20 Kegel exercises three to four times every day. Another way to
tighten your pelvic floor muscles is to:
the muscles in your anus (like you’re holding in a bowel movement)
your pelvic floor muscles after each attempt
this exercise 10-20 times
When doing your Kegel exercises, remember to:
hold your breath
push down. Squeeze your muscles together tightly and imagine that you’re trying
to lift this muscle up
tighten the muscles in your stomach, buttocks, or thighs
your pelvic floor muscles between each squeeze
Before Prostate Cancer Surgery
Doing Kegel exercises before you have prostate
cancer surgery can help minimize muscle weakness and reduce your risk of
incontinence. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re doing your
can do Kegel exercises while lying down or sitting in a chair, whichever is
more comfortable for you
your pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds, followed by a 10-second rest
this five times
this exercise three times a day until your surgery
After Prostate Cancer Surgery
After your catheter is removed, talk with your
nurse or doctor about when you can resume Kegel exercises or when to start them
if you weren’t doing them before. Here are some things to do when doing Kegel
exercises after surgery:
with a gentle contraction (less than 100% effort) while lying down
the contraction for three seconds, and then relax for 15 seconds
five repetitions, three times a day
the intensity of the contraction each day
day, increase the contraction by one second and reduce the relaxation time by
this until you reach a 10-second hold and a 10-second rest
doing five repetitions, three times a day
next step is to do the above exercises while sitting or standing
the same intervals as above, starting with a five-second hold and a 15-second
relax, working up to a 10-second hold and 10-second relax
After doing these exercises, you should notice
a gradual decrease in urine leakage and an increase in your ability to wait
longer between times you need to urinate. Talk with your doctor if you continue
to have difficulty with leakage or increased frequency of urination.
Aerobic Exercise for Prostate Cancer Patients
Doing aerobic exercise is a great way to boost
your cardiovascular health and maintain healthy body weight, especially since
weight gain can be a side effect of some common prostate cancer treatments.
Here are some recommended aerobic exercises:
Strength Training, Weight Lifting, and Prostate Cancer
Strength training, also known as resistance
training, can help you increase your muscle mass and bone density, which can be
affected by many common prostate cancer treatments. Strength training doesn’t
require lifting weights, so here are some things you can do in addition to
While strength training is beneficial to
prostate cancer patients, make sure to talk with your care team about the levels
and types of strength training that will be best for you.
Precautions When Exercising with Prostate Cancer
Exercise is beneficial for prostate cancer
patients, there are some precautions you should take that those without
prostate cancer may not need to take. Talk with your healthcare team if you
experience any of the side-effects from prostate cancer treatment listed below:
Fatigue. Physical fatigue can make it harder for you to
exercise vigorously, so make sure to monitor your energy levels and adjust your
Osteoporosis. If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis,
talk to your doctor about what kind of weight-bearing exercises you can do
safely to strengthen your bones.
Bone metastases. When cancer cells spread to your bones, there’s
a greater risk for fracture. Perform balance exercises and other exercises that
reduce your risk of falling.
Cardiopulmonary issues. Make sure to begin your exercise
program under medical supervision if you have weakened heart muscles or an
Lymphedema. Identified by swelling in a part of your body,
such as a leg or trunk, lymphedema is a common side effect that can occur after
the removal of lymph nodes. Maintaining range of motion and avoiding infection
is important when you have lymphedema, so make sure to progress slowly and
modify your exercises accordingly. Talk with your doctor if you have any
Peripheral neuropathy. This common side effect of cancer
treatment affects the nervous system, causing numbness, loss of sensation,
tingling, and pain in different areas of your body. For example, if neuropathy
is affecting your hands, it may be difficult to safely hold hand weights, so
consider using tubing or bands with handles.
Neutropenia. Cancer treatment can cause a decrease in white
blood cells, which is called neutropenia. This can increase your risk of
infection, so try to avoid crowded gyms that aren’t cleaned regularly. Talk to
your doctor about exercises you can do at home.
Myelosuppression. With myelosuppression, your bone marrow slows
its production of blood cells and platelets, making you more likely to bruise
and bleed. Make sure to take care when using exercise machines and equipment.
Learn More About Prostate Cancer Exercise Programs with Baptist Health
Exercise can help reduce your risk of getting prostate cancer and can also help any tumors you may already have from advancing. Find a provider to learn more information about exercise and prostate cancer and find out how to create a prostate cancer exercise program.