Being physically active can help you avoid many risk factors that can contribute to the development of cancer. Research has shown that physical activity reduces the risk of colon cancer by about 50% and Breast Cancer by 30-40%, just to name a few. Studies also show that people who are regularly active are less likely to develop lung cancer. Physical activity may lower the risk of cancer by preventing obesity, reducing inflammation and hormone levels, and improving insulin resistance and immune system function.
The relationship between exercise and its beneficial effects isn’t completely understood, however, researchers have some theories. In the case of colorectal cancer, it may help lower levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which are associated with tumor growth. According to Cancer.com “Being obese (substantially or extremely overweight) is defined as having a body mass index (BMI; the ratio of a person’s weight and height) of 30 or higher. Obesity increases a person’s risk of developing and dying from certain types of cancer, including postmenopausal breast cancer, colorectal cancer, uterine cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, gallbladder cancer, thyroid cancer, and esophageal cancer. Other cancers that may be linked to obesity include prostate cancer, liver cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”
Now the question is how much exercise? As little as an hour of walking each day can reduce the risk of breast cancer alone by up to 14%. Small steps count. Take the dog one extra block, park the car further away, or choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator . Whatever you do, Stride for Life!