Everyone keeps saying that engaging in physical activity is good for your health. However, in the past few months, a watershed study conducted by the American Cancer Society and NCI or National Cancer Institute was able to establish a direct correlation between physical activity and cancer prevention.
There is no denying the fact that for the longest time, oncologists, medical scientists, and fitness experts believed that increased physical activity could help prevent cancer. Yet, they did not have any conclusive or comprehensive study or research to back up their claims. That is not until now.
The study was conducted on over 600,000 American men and women. It was able to establish that light to moderate physical activity to the tune of 300 minutes per week can help drastically reduce the chances of cancer. Experts said that this could have prevented 46,000 cancer cases in the United States!
In this article, we are going to look at the close relationship between exercise and cancer prevention. If you are someone that wants to adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent such illnesses or are already undergoing cancer treatment, this article will help address many of your leading concerns.
How Exercising Can Help in Cancer Prevention?
In this section, we are going to list down three key ways how physical activity can help in cancer prevention-
- Physical activity helps keep the body weight at a healthy level-
Firstly, when you work out, you are preventing the onset of obesity. As we know, obesity is not only linked to cancer, but also to several other forms of illnesses. When you work out and have healthy body weight, you have a far lower estrogen and insulin count. Scientists point out that both these can lower the chances of cancer in human beings.
- Exercises help in improving the body’s metabolism and digestion-
Scientists point out that a healthy body is one that does not suffer from digestion problems. The ability of the body to remove waste faster can result in the removal of cancer-causing agents from the body. The healthier your body’s metabolism, the better is the functioning of your immune system. You want your body’s natural defense mechanism to lead the way.
- Empowers WBCs to identify and attack infections and viruses-
Our body’s White Blood Cells are the defense army that is the first line of defense against any external threats. Exercises help in better circulation of WBCs in our bloodstream. This makes them cover larger areas and identify potential threats that can become serious. Physical activity helps in the rapid reproduction of healthy cells and recharges the Mitochondria.
There are several other ways that an individual can lower their risk of developing cancer by making healthier lifestyle choices. Giving up smoking is one obvious example and is arguably the first thing that someone should do if they are a smoker. Being safe in the sun, eating healthily, and avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol can also make a big difference when it comes to reducing the risk of cancer.
What Type of Physical Activities should you engage with?
Doctors associated with the study have gone on record to state you do not have to aspire to a marathon runner. All you need to do is engage in light to moderate daily exercises and chores to keep your body as mobile and active as possible.
Let us look at some easy and convenient examples of what doctors mean by light to moderate intensity exercises-
- Brisk walking at a pace of 3MPH every day for at least thirty minutes can help keep you physically fit and active.
- Taking stairs in your house or at the workplace is a great option if you do not have time to hit the gym separately.
- Try to do normal chores around the house, like walking your dog, tending to vacuum work, or simply mowing the lawn. This is perfect for remote working professionals.
- If it is possible, cycle to work instead of taking your car. Even when you use public transport, try getting off one stop early and walking the rest of the way.
- Aim to walk at least 10,000 steps every day. You can use any health app on your smartphone or take help from a great smartwatch to help you count the steps.
The Final Takeaway
If you are able to invest 300 minutes every week in physical activity, you can reduce the chances of contracting 13 types of different cancers. In addition to liver, stomach, and oesophageal cancer, physical activity can also prevent cancers of the head, neck, colon, bladder, and lung cancers.
If you would like any additional information on the topic, please let us know in the comments section. We would be more than happy to help you address any clarifications on exercises and cancer prevention.