Cancer prevention tips: A workout a day helps keep cancer away

Runners

This blog post is part of #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme  

From stress-relief to toned muscles, breaking a sweat boasts a wide range of healthy benefits. Did you know that cancer prevention is one of them? Many researchers believe your cancer risk can be affected by how much physical activity you do.

According to a new study, hitting the gym may help keep cancer at bay, or boost chances of survival if diagnosed. Researchers from the University of Vermont found those who exercised the most were 68% less likely to develop lung cancer and 38% less likely to develop colorectal cancers than the least active participants.

Even moderate exercise, such as walking 2 hours a week, cuts the risk of breast cancer by 18%. Regular workouts may lower your risks by helping you burn fat, which otherwise produces its own estrogen, a known contributor to breast cancer.

Staying active is especially important for Michiganders, with a 32% obesity rate among adults in the state. The American Cancer Society has shown that being overweight or obese accounts for 20% of all cancer deaths among women and 14% among men. Even if you’re not technically overweight, gaining just 10 pounds after the age of 30 raises the risk of developing breast, pancreatic, cervical and several other cancers.

For women especially, losing extra pounds also reduces the body’s production of female hormones, which may protect against:

  • Breast cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Ovarian cancer

To get you started on your journey to #kickcancer, here are a few of our favorite workouts to give a try:

Want more cancer-fighting tips? Join the conversation on Twitter using #KickCancer and visit our cancer awareness page for prevention tips, support and inspirational stories.

Photo credit: RW Sinclair

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