Friday, February 17, 2012

Exercise Is Good Medicine

Exercise not only helps you lose weight, it also helps you reduce your risk of getting breast cancer, heart disease and strokes.

David Haas,  an advocate for cancer patients sent in the following guest post on the benefits of exercise and it's relationship to cancer prevention:

Help Prevent Cancer with Exercise (by David Haas)

Medical science has drastically improved cancer survival rates in recent years, but statistics provide little comfort for millions of people around the world who are affected by cancer. There is neither a cure nor a vaccine, but one of the keys to both cancer survival and actual prevention is exercise. Regular exercise can help to protect against bowel cancers, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and lung cancers such as mesothelioma.

Scientists are still working to figure out the specifics of how exercise works to prevent cancer, but they do have a good understanding as to what exercise does.

Regular exercise helps to maintain healthy hormone levels. High levels of some hormones can increase the risk of cancer. Examples include two types of estrogen, estradiol and estrange, high levels of which can cause breast cancer.

Exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight. Weight management is an
important factor in lowering the development of cancers. For instance, overweight women are at a greater risk of breast cancer because they produce and maintain higher estrogen levels than women at healthy weights. They also have larger amounts of breast tissue, making it harder to properly find and diagnose a tumor until too late.

Exercise strengthens your immune system and helps your digestive system to run more smoothly.

Studies have shown that exercise leads to stronger lungs and lower occurrences of lung cancers in men and women, both smokers and non-smokers.

The American Cancer Society recommends at least thirty minutes of physical activity five days per week to optimize the cancer-prevention effects of exercise. The National Cancer Institute reports that 50% of Americans don’t get enough exercise.

You don’t need to start lifting weights at the gym and start taking spin classes to get your exercise in. Start walking, do yoga, swimming, zumba, gardening, or hiking. Make a game out of it using the exercise programs available for systems like the Wii or X-Box Kinect. If you have been very inactive for a while, don’t expect to reach the target of 150 minutes per week right off the bat. Just get off the couch and do what you can to start. Any exercise is better than none and will provide at least minimal benefits. Work your way up to higher frequency and duration. Vary the activities that you do to keep boredom at bay. The sooner you start exercising, the sooner your body can start working to keep you healthy and keep your cancer risk down.

To learn more about the benefits of exercise on weight loss and cancer prevention visit David's blog HERE


Karl said...

You are completly right! Exercise is a great medicine. Could you maybe provide a link to the mentioned studys? I just recently decided to lose some weight myself and to blog about it. You can find my blog here:

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