Regular exercise associated with reduced risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia

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Protection against heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, memory loss, colon cancer, fractures, and depression should be enough to get men exercising.

But those who need extra motivation should consider the added benefits to their prostates and sexuality, reports the May 2007 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch.

A 2006 study from Sweden reported that regular exercise is associated with a reduced risk of moderate and severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). After taking other risk factors into account, the most active men were 28% less likely to have substantial lower urinary tract symptoms than the least active men. The Harvard Men's Health Watch notes that the effect of exercise on prostate cancer is less clear. Some studies suggest that exercise can reduce risk, while others do not.

Although erectile dysfunction is not life-threatening, it can surely impair quality of life. A Harvard study linked regular exercise to a 41% reduction in the risk of erectile dysfunction—all it took was about 30 minutes of walking a day. And in 2004, a randomized clinical trial reported that moderate exercise (averaging less than 28 minutes a day) can help restore sexual performance in obese, middle-aged men with erectile dysfunction.

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