1 Simple Trick to Shrink Your Prostate
Remember when I shared how sleep disturbances rocket your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 200%, especially the closer you inch toward age 70?
Well today, I want to go back to that subject...
Last week, I mentioned that dealing with an enlarged prostate is one important key to getting a better night’s sleep. Because nighttime bathroom trips — clinically known as nocturia — are a major source of insomnia for older guys. And no amount of melatonin is going to fix it.
It’s also not going to fix the daytime symptoms of prostate enlargement — most notably, difficult and frequent urination — that make your waking life just as miserable.
But what you do — and don’t do — during the day can make a big difference. And today, I want to direct your attention to one shockingly simple solution in particular.
Researchers recently followed 583 Korean men over the age of 40 and they found that the amount of time these guys spent sedentary was directly correlated to prostate size. Men who spent less time sitting (4.5 to 7 hours per day) had significantly smaller prostates than those who spent more than seven hours a day sitting.
But that’s not all...
Another study published this past summer looked at more than 30,000 guys between the ages of 55 and 74 with BPH. And results showed that, among newly diagnosed men, those who were physically active for one or more hours weekly were less likely to report nocturia or severe nocturia — by 13% and 34%, respectively.
According to these new studies, you could shrink your prostate just by getting up off of your butt. And you could kiss overnight pee breaks goodbye simply by exercising at least an hour per week.
We’re talking 15 minutes a day here. Solutions just don’t get any easier than that.
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And yet, the implications are vast. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an age-related health concern — and while I wouldn’t say it’s normal, it’s certainly common. About half of men over 50 are going to develop some symptoms of BPH.
It’s called “benign” because it’s not cancerous. But benign doesn’t mean it’s worth ignoring — not that you could ignore BPH, even if you wanted to.
When you have trouble urinating, it hijacks your entire life. And as I explained last week, other aspects of your health inevitably end up in the crosshairs as well. So if you can prevent prostate enlargement, let’s just say it’s in your best interest to do so.
There are a lot of factors that put you at risk for BPH. Some are outside of your control, like age, genetics, and geography. But research shows that there are plenty of other factors — like your nutrition, weight, and metabolic health — over which you have total control.
I’ll take on all of those at some point down the road. For now, though, let’s just focus on what these most recent findings mean for you...
First, if you sit at a desk all day, start taking 15 minutes every hour to get up and move around. Take a short walk. Do some squats during your coffee break. Or keep a pair of dumbbells in your cubicle.
Better yet, swap your old space for a standing desk, and don’t sit down to work at all.
Just don’t assume that staying active means breaking your back at the gym seven days a week. Because, as this new research shows, regular workouts are vital — but they don’t make up for a whole day spent sitting on your rear.
And, in fact, working out excessively may actually leave you in worse shape than when you started.
In the Korean study I described above, guys who exercised more than five times per week also had an increased risk of BPH. And while the association wasn’t as significant as the link between sedentary time and prostate enlargement, the message here is still pretty clear.
You don’t need to buy into some grueling workout culture (I’m looking at you, CrossFit) to stay healthy. And as far as I’m concerned, you probably shouldn’t.
Because true health isn’t based on extremes — it’s based on balance. In terms of prostate health, it’s clear by now that so-called “sitting disease” and extreme exercise are both recipes for potential disaster.
So don’t be fooled by the “ultra-fit” doctrine. If you want to live longer, better, and stronger, live by Cicero’s advice instead:
“Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.”
Stay tuned and stay well,
Geo Espinosa, N.D., L.Ac, C.N.S., is a renowned naturopathic doctor recognized as an authority in integrative management of male and urological conditions. Dr. Geo is the founder and director of the Integrative Urology Center at New York University Langone Medical Center (NYULMC), a center of excellence in research and integrative treatments for urological conditions.
Lee, H. W., Kim, S. A., Nam, J. W., Kim, M. K., Choi, B. Y., & Moon, H. S. (2014). The study about physical activity for subjects with prevention of benign prostate hyperplasia. Int Neurourol J, 18(3), 155-162. doi: 10.5213/inj.2014.18.3.155
Patel, N. D., & Parsons, J. K. (2014). Epidemiology and etiology of benign prostatic hyperplasia and bladder outlet obstruction. Indian J Urol, 30(2), 170-176. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.126900
Wolin KY, et al. “Physical Activity and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia-Related Outcomes and Nocturia.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Jul 9.