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If you’re a man, the shape of the blood vessels in your prostate can influence your health destiny. And now researchers have found there’s a stress-free way to have your body shape these vessels in a way that defends you against the harmful effects of prostate tumors.
All you have to do is go for a daily brisk walk.
“Prior research has shown that men with prostate tumors containing more regularly shaped blood vessels have a more favorable prognosis compared with men with prostate tumors containing mostly irregularly shaped blood vessels,” says researcher Erin Van Blarigan, Sc.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. “In (our) study, we found that men who reported walking at a brisk pace had more regularly shaped blood vessels in their prostate tumors compared with men who reported walking at a less brisk pace.”
In research involving more than 500 men with prostate tumors, scientists found that walking 3.3 to 4.5 miles per hour (from 18 minutes per mile to about 13 minutes per mile) significantly improves the chances that men with prostate cancer have less aggressive tumors.
“Our findings suggest a possible mechanism by which exercise may improve outcomes in men with prostate cancer,” says Van Blarigan. “Although data from randomized, controlled trials are needed before we can conclude that exercise causes a change in vessel regularity or clinical outcomes in men with prostate cancer, our study supports the growing evidence of the benefits of exercise, such as brisk walking, for men with prostate cancer.”