Cancer and Exercise



How do cancer and exercise affect each other? Being physically active helps prevent cancer growth. How does exercising do so?

  1. Any form of regular exercise either helps you lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight. A healthy weight is crucial in the prevention of cancer especially those types that are hormone-related.
  2. Being active also strengthens your immune system. Your immune system has killer cells that protect your healthy cells from cancerous ones. When you exercise, those killer cells become stronger.
  3. It is an effective way to manage stress. Being under too much stress often lowers your body's resistance. Chronic stress causes inflammation to set in and to drive you towards unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking and eating too much sugar.

How long a physical activity should be to provide protection? Merely thirty minutes of being physically active is already a step on prevention of cancer types that are caused by hormones.

What form of exercise should you do? Any form of regular physical activity can significantly reduce the levels of hormones in your body.

What particular cancers does exercising protect you from? Exercising prevents the following cancers:

a. Colon Cancer

Remember that high levels of estrogen and insulin increase risk for colon cancer. And exercise provides prevention effect against increase in hormones by:

  • improving metabolism of estrogen,
  • regulating insulin level, and
  • regulating your bowel movements thereby, reducing the time your colon is exposed to carcinogens in your stools.

If you are physically active for 30 minutes to an hour everyday, your risk for colon cancer is reduced by 30 to 40% compared to someone who is a couch potato. This benefit you get from 30 minutes of daily exercise is regardless of your body mass index.

If you do a high-intensity form of exercise such as aerobic dancing, studies have found that the protective effects against colon cancer are greater.

Related Article : Ways to Prevent Colon Problems

b. Pancreatic Cancer

Insulin is one of the hormones that trigger tumors. In fact, an unusual level of insulin in your body increases your risk for pancreatic cancer.

Why should people exercise? Physical activity such as of walking or hiking improves your body's metabolism of insulin. If you walk or hike even for only 4 hours every week, it can cut your risk by 50%!

c. Breast Cancer

The importance of exercise is undeniable against breast cancer. Moving more everyday improves the metabolism of estrogen in the body.

Studies have found that moderate to vigorous physical activity during adolescence provides more protection against breast cancer. Exercise also protects women who are already menopausal and with healthy weight against tumor by as much as 37%.

Even those menopausal women who are overweight but exercise moderately have reduced risk for it by 20%.

If you would like to know more on how to protect yourself from this type, check out Breast Cancer and Its Prevention.


Related Pages You Might Like:

Benefits of Being Active | Why Should People Exercise | Cancer and Obesity

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