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Health Checkup: January 31, 2008


You'll get equally fit running on a treadmill or outdoors. In fact, many distance-running athletes use the treadmill to save their legs from the pounding of roadwork. But there is a slight difference in energy expenditure (calories burned) between the two. Outdoor running burns slightly more calories than treadmill running at the same speed due to lack of air resistance on the treadmill. Researchers studying this phenomenon found that setting the treadmill at 1 percent elevation equals things out. Set the treadmill at 1 percent so that treadmill walking or running mimics outdoor exercise.



Increased exercise capacity reduces the risk of death in black and Caucasian men, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The government-supported Veterans Affairs study included 15,660 participants and is the largest known study to assess the link between fitness and mortality.

“It is important to emphasize that it takes relatively moderate levels of physical activity -- like brisk walking -- to attain the associated health benefits. Certainly, one does not need to be a marathon runner. This is the message that we need to convey to the public,” said Peter Kokkinos, Ph.D., lead author of the study and director of the Exercise Testing and Research Lab in the cardiology department at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

According to Kokkinos, most middle aged and older individuals can attain fitness levels with a brisk walk, 30 minutes per day, five to six days each week. “I do not advocate that everyone can start with 30 minutes of physical activity. In fact, 30 minutes may be too much for some people. If this is the case, split the routine into 10-15 minutes in the morning and another 10-15 minutes in the evening. The benefits will be similar if the exercise volume accumulated is similar,” he said.

Source: American Heart Association


The Prostatitis Foundation's Web site provides information about prostatitis, one of the most common urologic diseases in the United States.

Prevention Prostate Care

Dr. Richard Levin, M.D., F.A.C.S. from Chesapeake Urology answers your questions about preventive prostate care and screenings.

Q: How often do I need a prostate exam?

A: I recommend all my patients over 50, or those over 40 who are black or have a family history of prostate cancer see me once a year for a screening.

Q: What happens during a routine screening?

A: A DRE exam and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test will be performed. The whole exam is quick and takes less than an hour. The PSA test determines the level of PSA in a blood sample; high levels may indicate prostate cancer, an enlarged prostate or prostate infection.

Q: What can I do to lower my risk of prostate cancer?

A: Regular exercise and a low-fat diet are key. Eating fruits and vegetables, especially broccoli and cauliflower, may decrease your risk of prostate cancer. Lycopene (found in tomato products), selenium, soy and vitamins D and E may also be beneficial. At Chesapeake Urology, we have a staff nutritionist who can work with you.

Q: What are the signs of prostate cancer?

A: Early prostate cancer usually has no warning signs, so regular screenings like the PSA and DRE are vital. Other symptoms such as frequent urination (particularly at night), weak or interrupted flow, pain when urinating and blood in the urine are signs you cannot ignore. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a urologist immediately. Our doctors at Chesapeake Urology are among the most experienced in the treatment of prostate problems.

Q: Do I really need a urologist?

A: Yes, it’s essential that you visit a board-certified urologist yearly for a prostate screening to address any concerns you may have. Chesapeake Urology has 42 board-certified urologists experienced in prostate and testicular health, erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence and kidney stones. We offer the most advanced minimally invasive robotics and procedures. Our urologists operate out of 22 centers conveniently located throughout Maryland. If you don’t have a urologist, call 1-866-955-0002 or visit to find one near you.


Richard Levin, M.D. has been in the private practice of urology for 13 years. He is certified by the American Board of Urology and specializes in prostate cancer treatment and minimally invasive treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

For more information about Dr. Levin and the services available at Chesapeake Urology Associates, call 1-866-955-0002 or visit

Chesapeake Urology Associates is the premier urology practice in Maryland, treating prostate cancer, testicular cancer, erectile dysfunction and incontinence, plus performing vasectomies, reverse vasectomies and more. If you have a concern, schedule a screening today by calling 1-866-955-0002.

Issue 3.5: January 31, 2008