Exercise is medicine, too—here’s how it works

This past spring, we spent a lot of time talking about the essential tenets of good nutrition. Because as Hippocrates famously said, food really is some of the most powerful medicine there is.

 

But in honor of Men’s Health Month—and with the arrival of another summer season—this is the perfect time to talk about the other not-so-secret weapon in your health arsenal. And in case you haven’t guessed, we’re talking about exercise.

 

Movement is an essential pillar of the XY Wellness program for a reason. It’s a requirement for any man to live his best life—and it’s especially important if you’re up against prostate cancer. Why? Well, let’s take a moment to talk about that right now…

 

Three reasons why exercise is essential

 

There’s really no limit to the benefits that regular physical activity offers to your body. But for men protecting their prostate health, the advantages can be lifesaving.

 

For one thing, studies show that physical fitness lowers your risk of developing cancer in the first place. (And not just prostate cancer—any type of cancer.) It’s also associated with higher rates of remission and survival, and can help to reduce the side effects that come with conventional treatment.

 

It’s no wonder, when you think about it: Among other benefits, exercise boosts your body’s insulin sensitivity. Even a single intense exercise session will burn through excess sugar for energy, taking the load off of your pancreas. And since sugar is the preferred fuel of cancer cells, you know what this means: Every workout helps to fight cancer by starving unhealthy cells.

 

At the same time, exercise boosts your body’s ability to detoxify by supporting lymphatic drainage. Your lymphatic system is a network of structures that helps to filter toxins from your bloodstream—and it just so happens that deep breathing and muscle contraction are the two main ways to keep it moving efficiently.

 

Finally, exercise helps to keep your weight in check—and when you consider the fact that obesity nearly doubles the risk of prostate cancer death, this benefit speaks for itself.

 

Prioritize movement every single day

 

At the end of the day, maximizing your health means being serious about your fitness—and committing time and effort to making it a part of your daily life.

 

But this doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym every day. For optimal results, three hours weekly of moderate- to high-intensity exercise—the kind where you work hard and break a sweat—will do the trick.

 

Research shows that men with prostate cancer who clocked three or more hours of vigorous physical activity per week cut their risk of death—and their risk of dying from prostate cancer, in particular—roughly in half, compared to men who exercised less.  

 

But these three hours can be broken down any way you choose: 30 minutes, six days a week, if that works for you. Or an hour, three days a week, if you prefer.

 

The important part is that you commit to getting it in. Give your training the same respect you would any other important appointment—because that’s exactly what it is.

 

Until next time,

The XY Wellness Team

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