Your Bike Seat And Your Health
A sustained ride on a narrow bicycle seat compresses the nerves in the perineum, the area between the scrotum and the anus, leading to numbness in the penis. Rarely, impotence occurs. The problem can last from a week to a month after a lengthy bike ride. Taking the following precautions can help you avoid these problems:
- Pick a wide seat with plenty of padding. Look for gel-filled and anatomy-friendly seats.
- Wear padded bike shorts.
- Dont tilt your seat forward. This increases pressure on the perineum.
- Make sure the seat height is correct. Your legs should not be completely extended at the bottom of your pedal stroke.
- Raise the handlebars so your position is more upright.
- Be sure the top bar of the frame is at least two inches below your crotch. Cover the bar with padding to protect your genitals if you fall.
No matter what activity you choose , avoid sporadic bouts of high-intensity activity. For one thing, the health benefits of exercise depend on the total amount of exercise rather than its intensity. But more importantly, higher-intensity activity raises your chances for muscle or joint injury and for sudden death as a result of heart rhythm disturbances, especially if youre a weekend warrior or you havent had a medical check-up to clear you for intense exertion.
How Much Should You Be Walking
According to the studies above, if you want to prevent prostatic disease or control lower urinary tract symptoms, you dont need long hours of exercise. In most cases, 3 hours of brisk walking will be enough.
However, the more youre able to do, the best results youre expected to have. Just dont change a brisk pace for a slow walk to complete a longer course.
According to the national and international recommendations, the ideal time is half an hour, 5 days a week. You can even break down the sessions into 2 or 3 segments if you like. Still, the more you do, the more benefits you will have.
Variety is also very important, and if you can combine walking with other aerobic exercises and weight training, you will get much more benefit. Even urinary leakage or urge incontinence may significantly improve.
In any case, we recommend power walks if you have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. They can reduce the progression of the disease and improve your urine flow. Three hours a week is the minimum for improvements, but you can adapt this time to your fitness levels and health.
Your Sofa Is A Much Greater Cause For Concern
Men who spend a lot of time watching TV or playing video games have twice the risk of an enlarged prostate than those who spend less than five hours a week doing so. Whats even more alarming is that if you spend a lot of time on the couch, your risks go up regardless of the amount of time you practice sports.3
Your best bet is to go for a bike ride or find a pastime thats more active than watching TV! Your family surely has a number of ideas for things you can do that are good for your prostate. Even renovating the basement can be good for you!
Recommended Reading: Can You Shrink An Enlarged Prostate
No 2: Get The Right Bike Saddle
Once your bike is perfectly fitted to your body, you need to turn your attention to your saddle. Note that a professional bike fitting will include help with your saddle. But if you dont have access to that, there is plenty you can do to make sure your saddle is helping the situation, not making it worse.
First, it is important to get the right saddle to suit your body. We have two related posts that can help with that.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health studied 17 members of a bike police patrol unit in Ohio. These police men spent over 5 hours per day on their bikes. Almost all of them reported occasional genital numbness. And the more they rode, the more likely they were to have symptoms of erectile dysfunction. The NIOSH did a follow-up study, in which they established that using a no-nose saddle relieved symptoms of numbness and erectile dysfunction.
Tips on Getting Your Bike Saddle Right
Its not only about finding the right saddle; its also important to mount it correctly. This may be a case of trial and error, because what works for one man doesnt necessarily work for all men. A couple of things to remember:
Chronic Prostatitis And Exercise: Why Moving Is Vital
- On July 24, 2019
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Chronic Prostatitis can be debilitating and reduce quality of life. An unlikely way of reducing pain and symptoms is exercise.
Many men do not get long-term relief from treatments such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medicines or antibiotics. Exercise has been shown to have a significant impact on prostate health in previous studies over the years. In the past, exercise has been shown improve symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, as well as Prostatitis.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
A study by Italian researchers found evidence for exercise reducing pain in individuals withy Chronic Prostatitis. Published in the Journal of Urology, the study involved 231 sedentary men with chronic prostatitis. The men were assigned to one of two exercise programs for 18 weeks: aerobic exercise, including brisk walking and strengthening exercises, or nonaerobic exercise, which includes exercises such as leg lifts. At the end of the trial, all participants in the group reported feeling significantly better. Those in the aerobic group, however, experienced greater improvements in Prostatitis pain and quality of life in general.
Recommended Reading: What Causes A Man To Have Prostate Problems
How Does Exercise And Walking Help Prostate Health
According to studies, exercise like walking does help your prostate tissue remain healthier for a longer time. It is also useful to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and reduce the incidence of nocturia and other urinary symptoms.
Similarly, walking and other forms of exercise can help us recover from prostate cancer. But let us evaluate the influence of walking and physical activity in general in three aspects:
Strengthening The Pelvic Floor
Men undergoing prostate cancer treatment should give special attention to ensuring good pelvic floor strength in order to reduce the side effects of treatment and improve urinary and sexual function.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and connective structures that are found in the region of your pelvis between your legs, supporting the functions of the bowel, bladder, and sexual organs. The pelvic floor muscles aid in urinary and fecal continence and in sexual performance. They provide structural support to the joints of the pelvis, in addition to spinal support. The muscles contract and relax, just like any other muscle in your body.
The pelvic floor is often compromised in men after prostate cancer treatment. The prostate is located under the bladder, surrounding the urethra.; During either surgical or radiation treatment, the prostate is targeted or removed. This process can damage the surrounding tissues, including the muscles of the pelvic floor.; When the pelvic floor muscles are compromised, it can lead to weakness, pain, and dysfunction.
How Cycling Affects The Prostate
Based on what I learned, your long cycling commute doesnt mean theres a bigger chance youll have prostate problems like prostatitis or prostate cancer. And there isnt any hard proof that bicycling makes the symptoms of an enlarged prostate worse.
Some studies recommend that men avoid cycling during episodes of prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. This is something you should absolutely speak to your doctor about.;
That said, its been documented that there is in men an increase of prostate-specific antigen levels right after a long bike ride.;
The higher PSA levels are temporary and any PSA-related cancer test would have to wait a few days.;
Something else I was not aware of is that, along with higher PSA numbers, long bicycle rides can also experience genital numbness .
Thats due to the compression of the nerves and blood vessels in the perineal area.; And well, it is connected to a higher risk of erectile dysfunction.
Personally, I was glad to learn that a lot of this is temporary and / or can be reversed. There are steps you can take to make things better.
Prostate Problems & Cycling
Cycling is a fun and effective form of exercise, but you might worry that pressure from a bicycle saddle can cause urinary, sexual and prostate problems. With precautions, you can enjoy your bike ride without causing any long-term damage.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Recommended Reading: How Effective Is Proton Beam Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Foods To Avoid: Eggs & Poultry
A study published in the January 2006 issue of Urology explored the connection between diet and BPH symptoms.1 It found that eating eggs and poultry appeared to increase symptoms. This may be to do with the fact that egg yolks have high levels of arachidonic acid, which, as mentioned earlier, increases inflammation.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you must cut eggs and chicken out of your diet completely this is just one study and more research would be needed to make a more thorough conclusion on the issue. However, I would advise you not to focus your diet around these foods and to get more variety instead. Vegetables are an excellent option as they contain and array of nutrients and can be incorporated into meals like curries and soups, as well as snacks.
How To Perform Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are simple and do not require any special equipment or space. First, you must first find your pelvic floor muscles. Find your pelvic floor by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground/bed. Allow yourself to fully relax, and then attempt isolating these muscles.; Imagine trying to lift up the base of your penis. Or, try engaging the muscles you would need to stop the flow of urine mid-stream. These muscles that you feel contracting are your pelvic floor muscles!
When you are contracting your pelvic floor, imagine lifting up as if going up on an elevator.;Elevate and contract for 5 seconds.;Then slowly allow the muscles to relax, as if descending an elevator for the next 5 seconds.;When you finish, you should be fully relaxed.;Repeat this contract/relax sequence for 20 repetitions.
Try to perform these 20 repetitions 3-5 times per day.;The beauty of these exercises is that they can be done virtually anywhere and in any position, once you get the hang of them.;They are easily done without anyone noticing. Dont worry if it takes you a little while to properly isolate and consciously engage your pelvic floor muscles. It can take some practice.
Click here to read Regaining Control of the Pelvic Floor by Amy Vant, PT, DPT;for more information.
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Essential Guide To Prostate Health For Cyclists
Responding to reports that cycling increases the risk of prostate cancer, oncologist Professor Robert Thomas provides some reassurance
The debate about prostate health and cycling has taken on renewed vigour recently following the publication of a study involving 5,000 cyclists.
It reported a six-fold increase in prostate cancer among cyclists who trained for eight hours or more per week, compared to men who trained for less than 3.75hr.
Of course, association does not prove causation. Men with cancer were more likely to volunteer for the study, and we know that intense cycling can increase levels of prostate-specific antigen in the blood for 24 hours meaning cyclists are more likely to be referred for investigation.
Not highlighted in the study was that the male subjects had a cancer rate three times lower than that observed in the general population.
This is most likely because there are over 180 beneficial biochemical changes that occur after exercise that reduce the risk of cancer by protecting our DNA, blocking cancer growth and spread .
Even so, we must take seriously the suggestion that cycling increases risk by elevating levels of reactive oxygen species .
Above all, its important to consume plenty of polyphenol-rich vegetables, spices, herbs, teas, berries and fruits.
Prostate Anatomy And Problems In Cyclists
A healthy human prostate is classically said to be slightly larger than a walnut. It surrounds the urethra just below the urinary bladder. The prostate can enlarge to the point where urination becomes difficult. Symptoms include needing to urinate often or taking a while to get started . If the prostate grows too large, it may constrict the urethra and impede the flow of urine, making urination difficult and painful and, in extreme cases, completely impossible.
Prostate problems and benign prostate enlargement affect nearly fifty percent of men over the age of fifty. As many as ninety percent of men in their eighties may have some symptoms of BPH. Prostate cancer is a common cancer in men. However, there does not appear to be any evidence in the literature that there is any link between cycling, prostate enlargement or prostate cancer. There is weak evidence that trauma from bicycle riding can irritate the prostate and could exacerbate, and perhaps lead, to prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Only a small number of riders get prostatitis from riding their bikes. If you are having prostate symptoms, visit your doctor or practice nurse.
Therefore it seems sensible to use a saddle which aims to reduce pressure on the perineum. These kinds of saddles fall into several types of groups, all aim to reduce pressure on the perineum or groin area:
But Is Cycling A Mortal Enemy Of Your Prostate
Other studies show that excessive cycling could irritate the prostate or aggravate prostatitis. Scientists of University College London did not discover any connection between cycling and man sexual performance.
Nevertheless, cyclists who ride for more than eight hours a week have a higher risk of prostate cancer than cyclists who ride for less than four hours . Besides, for cyclists who tend to practice to overexertion, the bike seat may level up the indicators for the PSA test .
Besides these problems, the risks of cycling well depend on the type of seat and the exercises intensity. We should be careful not to overexert ourselves in riding, especially if we are high-risk patients.
Also, consider bike saddles. Some of them are made of leather and are not breathable at all. These leather saddles increase the temperature in the perineal area. Additionally, they create pressure upon the pudendal nerve and may cause a saddle sore, numbness, and other problems .
Does Cycling Cause Prostate Cancer
A lot of cycling can lead to some irritation of the prostate. This can lead to misleading results in a routine medical test for prostate cancer. Basically, it can give you an artificially raised reading in a PSA test. And in turn, this can lead to your doctor ordering a whole lot more tests.
However, cycling does not cause prostate cancer, according to Dr. Koupparis. Cycling actually improves your fitness and cardiovascular health, and by so doing, helps to prevent cancer.
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Does Cycling Reduce Belly Fat
Cycling to lose belly fat
Cycling is therefore a good option to lose weight. But thats not only because of the calories you burn, it also affects your basal metabolic rate and muscle mass. Building muscle then increases the rate at which you burn calories, so it makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Will Masturbation Cause Prostatitis
Most men have the habit of masturbation, proper masturbation can help relieve sexual pressure and avoid discomfort caused by long-term sexual depression. However, frequent masturbation can cause prostate hyperemia and it will last for a long time, which can easily lead to chronic prostatitis. However, will masturbation definitely lead to prostatitis? we need to think about this question from an objective perspective.
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What Kind Of Exercise Should I Do After Prostate Cancer Treatment
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, or swimming, is important because it burns calories to keep weight under control. However, men with prostate cancer should avoid prolonged bicycling because of the pressure the seat puts on the perineal area, which is between the scrotum and the anus.
A good fitness routine should also emphasize strength training, which will help increase muscle mass and bone density and decrease body fat. This is especially important because your treatments may cause sarcopenia, which is a change in your fat-to-muscle ratio. Strength training can be performed with weights, bands, machines, or your own body weight. Balance exercises that help with coordination may also be helpful.