Exercise Your Way to Lower Breast Cancer Risk
While there’s no guarantee that women can always keep breast cancer at bay, recent studies are indicating there is a method that can greatly reduce their risks. This is especially so for women who are witnessing their individual risks rise following menopause.
So, what’s the key to lowering risks? Researchers say that exercising for about 45 minutes a day, or roughly 5 hours a week, can cut risks rather dramatically for women age 50 and up. This recommendation is twice the current standard for exercise, but there are some compelling reasons behind the push.
To arrive at their exercise recommendations, Canadian researchers asked a group of 400 women age 50 and up to begin exercising regularly. About half the group was put to the task for a half-hour a day five times a week. The other half worked out twice as much, logging about 5 hours a week of activity.
Over the course of a year, the women in the second group lost more fat than the other group, including abdominal fat, which is considered especially dangerous. Researchers from Alberta Health Services ultimately found that women who followed the standard guidelines cut their breast cancer risks by 4.6 percent. Those who doubled the amount of exercise saw their risks drop by 6.9 percent.
As breast cancer continues to be one of the leading cancer killers among American women, hitting the gym a little more vigorously, especially after menopause, may be in order. While the jury is still out on changing recommendations for exercise, a few extra minutes a day engaged in active pursuits does seem to make a difference.
Women who are concerned about breast cancer are urged to speak with their healthcare providers. Risks for the disease can climb as women age courtesy of increased fat cells that are a source of hormones that are known to feed cancer.