Struggling to find the motivation to exercise? What if you knew that regular exercise could reduce your risk of 13 different types of cancer?
A new study published earlier this year by scientists with the National Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School (as well as a number of other institutions around the world) suggests that regular exercise may significantly reduce a person's risk of multiple types of cancer.
For the study, researchers gathered data from 12 large-scale studies involving a total of 1.44 million men and women in the United States and Europe. The study focused on whether the individuals exercised, and if so, how vigorously and how often. They then looked at whether, after the start of each study, any participants were diagnosed with any type of cancer.
It has been well-documented that exercise can lower one’s risk of breast, lung and colon cancers, but this new study reveals it may also significantly reduce the risk of tumors in the liver, esophagus, kidney, stomach, endometrium, blood, bone marrow, head and neck, rectum and bladder.
The more the individual exercised, the more his or her risk for any of these 13 cancers was reduced. When comparing the top 10 percent of exercisers to the 10 percent of participants who were the least active, the top exercisers were as much as 20 percent less likely to develop most of these cancers.
Researchers also found that even people who were overweight or obese but who exercised regularly were still at a much lower risk of developing most cancers than overweight people who are more sedentary.
What scientists do not know is how exercise may cut one’s risk of cancer, and this new study cannot prove that exercise directly reduces risk of cancer — only that there is an association between more exercise and less risk of cancer.
Exercising isn’t the only thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. People who live an overall healthy lifestyle are generally less likely to develop cancer. You can help reduce your risk of cancer by doing the following in addition to exercise:
- Stop smoking
- Lose weight
- Eat a whole-food, plant-based diet
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol intake
- Manage your stress level
- Keep up with recommended cancer screenings
- Know your family history of cancer
Get fit and reduce your risk of cancer with the help of Goshen Health's fitness programs. We offer a number of fitness classes, ranging from beginner's yoga to weekend bootcamps. For more information, give us a call at (574) 364-2855.
Posted: 7/27/2016 by
Filed under: Cancer Care