Although prostate health may be difficult for some to talk about, it is the most common health problem for men. The prostate is a golf ball sized male sexual organ, located between the penis and rectum with the urethra (bladder) running right through the center of it. The prostate produces the bodily fluid which mixes with sperm to make semen. Because of its central role in sexual and bladder health, it is important to exercise and keep the blood circulating in that region. This helps to reduce prostate issues and improves daily functioning.
Common Prostate Issues
The three main types of prostate issues are prostatitis, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate cancer.
Prostatitis – This is the inflammation of the prostate. There are 4 types: acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and asymptomatic prostatitis. Symptoms include urinary difficulties, pain in the lower back, hips, groin, perineum, and painful ejaculation as well as flu-like symptoms with bacterial prostatitis. This condition can temporarily cause an enlarged prostate. Although often uncomfortable, this condition is treatable and curable.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – BPH is a noncancerous growth on the prostate and is most often associated with enlarged prostate. Unlike prostatitis, the enlarged prostate caused by BPH is not curable but managed through medication. The vast majority of men as they age develop an enlarged prostate which can restrict the blood flow to the urethra. This is thought to be caused by changing hormone levels (decreased testosterone). Because of its proximity to the bladder, most of the symptoms include urinary difficulties, bladder infections, bladder stones as well as struggles with ejaculation.
Prostate cancer – This is a malignant growth (tumor) on the prostate. It has the potential to spread to surrounding tissue and other parts of the body. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. The symptoms include: urinary issues, painful ejaculation, bone pain, weight loss, pain in the lower back, hips, thigh.
Recommended Exercises for Prostate Health
- Resistance training
- Aerobic exercise
Avoid activities that put strain in the groin areas such as cycling.