Exercise to Prevent Breast Cancer
by Myreille Simard
published October 06, 2008
rating: (97 Ratings)
We all know the benefits that regular exercise has on our health, but did you know that it can go as far as to prevent certain illnesses such as breast cancer? There are some risk factors, like genetics and age, that you can’t do anything about; but you can reduce your risks by becoming physically active. Here are five reasons to start moving!
Exercise helps you lose weight
Physical activity helps in the weight loss process, which has a direct relationship with low incidences of breast cancer. Even being as little as 10 pounds overweight can increase your breast cancer risks, especially after menopause. Make sure you maintain a healthy weight by calculating your body mass index with our BMI Calculator.
Exercise helps protect you from breast cancer
Health Canada attests to what many studies have shown: physical activity—even when done moderately—can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by 30 to 40%. What’s more, physical inactivity in adults contributes to a third of all breast cancer cases, particularly after menopause. Pick a sport that works your muscles and increases your heart rate (like speed-walking, for example) and practice it for at least 30 minutes every day, five days per week.
Exercise reduces the chances of relapse
Physical activity is advantageous to both women who have cancer, and those who are in remission. Three U.S. studies have shown that people who survived cancer and maintained an active lifestyle had 50% less chances of a relapse than those who did not.
Exercise helps beat fatigue
Breast cancer treatments are very draining and difficult on a woman’s body, and it’s wrong to think that physical activity should be avoided during. In fact, exercise helps beat fatigue and gives energy to patients, causing them to react better to treatments; they also suffer less from the negative effects that the treatments entail such as vomiting, nausea and weakness. Physical activity also counters stress, which helps keep patients’ morale up.
Inactivity accelerates the progression of breast cancer
Physical inactivity plays a role in many illnesses, including breast cancer in women and colon cancer in men. More than 35 studies have shown that a lack of exercise raises one’s risk of breast cancer. Once contracted, breast cancer will develop faster in an inactive person than an active one.
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