Movember is more than the month of mustaches. It’s a month to raise awareness for some of the biggest health issues that men face: prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide.
Exercise can help with all of these conditions in some way. While it’s not a perfect cure, it can make an impact in the lives of men who aren’t active. If you’re sedentary, any exercise can be helpful.
Getting active can slightly reduce your risk for developing prostate cancer, says the Fred Hutch Cancer Center in Seattle. Your risk for developing prostate cancer can go down even further if you do vigorous exercise.
Circuit training with weights and cardio counts as vigorous exercise. An intense weight training session, sprinting, or sports like boxing also count as vigorous training.
Exercising can help men who’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It can improve the outlook and make the treatment process less draining. The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests men aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day. Try to avoid eating sugary foods and red meat as well.
For testicular cancer, exercise doesn’t seem to make a difference in risk. In fact, a study recently published in BMC Cancer debunked the myth that exercise could increase the risk for developing testicular cancer.
While it won’t help reduce your risk for testicular cancer, if you have testicular cancer, exercise can help keep you healthy. Treatment rates for recovery from this type of cancer are extremely high, and it’s important that you maintain your health during recovery by exercising regularly.
A study published in BMC psychology investigated the effects of exercise on multiple aspects of mental health. They found that people who exercised regularly were less likely to experience any major mental health issues, such as depression.
People who exercised were also less likely to attempt suicide. Similar results have been seen in studies that explore the use of exercise to treat depression in veterans, who are much more likely to experience mental health issues than most demographics.
There are few major health problems that men face which exercise won’t help. While you should always check with your doctor to make sure exercise won’t exacerbate any health conditions, most men could benefit from more moderate or even vigorous activity.