Exercises for Men with Prostate Problems or Overactive Bladder
Symptoms of Prostate Problems and Overactive Bladder
Prostate problems and overactive bladder (OAB) are very different conditions. However, they can both cause frequent and sudden urges to urinate in men.
While this can be annoying and embarrassing, it can be treated. In addition to medical remedies, a variety of exercises can help reduce the number of times a man feels the sudden urge to go to the bathroom.
More About Prostate Problems
The prostate is about the size of a walnut. It surrounds the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder. As men age, their prostates often enlarge, which puts pressure on their urethras.
An enlarged prostate is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH can contribute to an urge to urinate frequently, or the feeling that they still have to go after they’ve finished urinating.
Overactive Bladder Causes
OAB occurs when the muscles that control the bladder no longer work properly. The result is feeling like you have to go to the bathroom frequently.
Drinking too much fluid—especially drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and citrus juice—can cause you to urinate frequently. Being obese can also put pressure on the bladder. Sometimes, OAB can stem from serious neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS).
Types of Exercise
Muscles around the bladder can become weak as men age or after prostate cancer treatment. Various types of exercises can be helpful for men with prostate problems or OAB.
Kegel exercises can strengthen and train the pelvic floor muscles to help control urination. Other important types of exercises are walking or jogging, swimming, tennis, and other sports. These aerobic exercises can help a man maintain a healthy weight.
Kegel exercises are often recommended for women, especially after childbirth. Diabetes, prostate surgery, and OAB can weaken these muscles too. Exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor can be helpful for men.
Kegel exercises can be done at almost any time, and they don’t require special equipment. However, it may take some practice and concentration to get the exercises just right.
How to Do Kegel Exercises
To find the muscles of the pelvic floor, stop urinating mid-stream and concentrate on the muscles you used to do that. To do Kegel exercises, empty your bladder and lie on the floor with your knees bent and apart.
Tighten your pelvic floor muscles for three seconds and then relax them for three seconds. Repeat a few times. Be sure to focus only on the pelvic floor muscles. Soon you’ll be able to do this while sitting or standing.
Regular exercise provides many health benefits. Heart and muscle health depend on frequent physical activity. Exercise can help you lose extra pounds and achieve a healthy weight. And maintaining a healthy weight can help lower the risk of prostate problems, according to Rush University Medical Center.
Exercise also helps balance the body’s hormones, which affect the prostate. The Mayo Clinic recommends striving for a healthy weight to ease OAB symptoms.
If You Need Help
Kegel exercises can be difficult to master. Your doctor may be able to help you learn how to isolate the key muscles. Lifestyle changes or medications also may be helpful.
If you continue to experience symptoms, such as frequent urges to urinate, ask your doctor about other steps you can take. These problems can be embarrassing, but your quality of life can improve if you make the effort to address all your symptoms.
- Overactive bladder: Lifestyle and home remedies. (2013, January 16). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved Dec.18 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/overactive-bladder/DS00827/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies
- To your health: Protecting the prostate. (n.d.). Rush University Medical Center. Retrieved Dec. 18 from http://www.rush.edu/rumc/page-1298329135516.html
- Kegel exercises for men: Understand the benefits. (2012, September 25). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved Dec. 18 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kegel-exercises-for-men/MY01402