Want to Prevent Cancer? Exercise!
People who are looking for ways to cut their risk of developing cancer may only need to get up and get moving to have a strong impact. A recent study found that higher levels of physical activity could cut the risks associated with 13 different forms of cancer. The study involved an intensive analysis of data from across Europe and the Americas.
For those not convinced that exercise can make a tremendous difference, the numbers speak for themselves. The study found that risks dropped by as much as 10 to 42 percent, depending on the particular type of cancer. Cancers that showed positive impacts from routine physical exercise included esophageal, liver, lung, kidney, endometrial, head and neck, breast, rectal and bladder. Melanoma and prostate were among the cancers whose risk factors did not drop when exercise was added into a person’s routine.
While all the reasons why exercise can impact cancer risk are not known, researchers have a few good theories. First off, exercise is associated with changes in sex hormones, which are known to increase risks for some cases. Secondly, lower insulin levels brought on by exercise may provide a benefit. Researchers also believe a reduction in inflammatory markers in those who are routinely physical may play a strong role.
How much exercise is necessary to produce positive results was not addressed. Many doctors, however, recommend that people incorporate at least three to four days of moderate exercise that lasts for at least 30 minutes into their routine. Exercise can include anything from heavy yard work and runs around the block to structured time in a gym or health club. The key is simply to get up and get moving.
For more tips on cuttings personal cancer risks, consult with a healthcare provider. Checking in with a doctor before adding exercise to the routine is also a smart move to ensure that a planned program isn’t too vigorous or too easy to produce positive results.