Does Exercise Help Fight Cancer?
Need a reason to get physical? Cancer.
Studies show that people who exercise and are physically active significantly reduce their risk of getting certain types of cancer and for some cancer patients, a regular exercise routine can improve chances of survival.
Recommendations on just how much exercise you have to do varies but getting at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio or 75 minutes of high intensity and a couple of strength training sessions per week is recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services.
How Does Exercise Help Fight Cancer?
According to research, exercise has positive effects on our biology, which may explain the links to certain cancers like breast and colon cancer. Our bodies experience positive changes that include:
- Hormone levels like insulin and estrogen are lowered
- Immune systems are boosted
- Inflammation is reduced
- Healthy weight maintained
- Digestion and metabolism are improved
What You Should Know About Certain Cancer Risks and Exercise
- Physically active people can reduce their risk of colon cancer by 24 percent compared to men and women who are not physically active.
- Breast cancer incidence and progression are powerfully affected by lifestyle factors and health choices, including healthy or unhealthy diets and exercise or a sedentary lifestyle. Studies show that women who are physically active have a 12 percent lower chance of getting breast cancer, especially after menopause. Women with breast cancer who exercised at least one hour a week were 35 percent to 40 percent less likely to die from the disease than women who didn’t exercise at all.
- Endometrial cancer is reduced by 20 percent in people who had high levels of physical activity than those who did not.
- Vigorously exercising three times a week can reduce the risk of death by prostate cancer by 61 percent in men with non-metastatic prostate cancer.
Bottom line is that leading a sedentary lifestyle not only affects your waistline but can lead to a greater risk of developing cancer and other chronic illnesses. Exercise improves your odds.
Before embarking on any exercise routine, please speak to your doctor.