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How can exercise improve BPH?

The long-term Health Professionals Follow-Up Study has shown that physical activity levels are inversely related to the severity of urinary symptoms and the need for surgery. Although this finding does not prove that regular exercise can reduce benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms or prevent the need for surgery, it does suggest that physical activity is good for prostate health.

Physical activity helps to decrease a man's testosterone level and to reduce the activity of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).
  • A sedentary lifestyle, including sexual inactivity, typically leads to high testosterone levels, which, in turn, puts a man at risk for hyperplasia. Exercise helps keep testosterone levels in check.
  • The SNS, which is stimulated by stress, increases tone, or tension, in the smooth muscles all over the body including the prostate where the muscle tension squeezes the urethra and bladder neck. Exercise reduces SNS activity, thereby causing the prostate muscles to relax. (Alpha-blocker drugs are designed to do the same thing.)

The best exercise program to reduce symptoms of BPH is one that promotes overall health, such as spending one-half hour per day doing moderate activity. Walking 2 to 3 hours per week has been shown to reduce the risk of severe BPH by about 25%. Exercise also is good for your cardiovascular system and weight management.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.