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It's not enough to just grow a beard this month men, get moving too!

The global Movember movement focuses much-needed attention on male cancer issues and the month-long campaign should trigger men into action, quite literally. Because the message is clear that being physically active decreases the risk of getting prostate cancer and markedly increases survival rates among those who do get it.

Prostate cancer is the main cancer risk for men. And, after lung cancer, it is the main cancer killer for men.

The www.zerocancer.org website reports that men who exercise the equivalent of only one-to-three hours of walking each week have an 86% lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer, and that three or more hours of vigorous exercise lowered the risk of prostate cancer death by 61%.

Ceri Hannan, National Product Development Manager at Virgin Active South Africa, says that exercise can help in many ways: “Primarily through maintaining a healthy weight, because there’s an established link between obesity and the intensity of prostate cancer, and in terms of improving bone and muscle strength. And that’s on top of all the important mental health benefits of a good fitness routine like reducing anxiety, boosting self-esteem and increasing optimism”.

He adds that for those who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, physical fitness is an enormous advantage in coping with the side effects of treatment and speeding up recovery.

Hannan is also this year’s South African Movember ambassador and has developed 30 moves for 30 days for all the Movember movers. He points out that exercise in Movember can help others as well: “The South African Movember website has details of how you can raise money for cancer programmes by linking your monthly activity outputs to fund-raising.”