You’ve heard time and time again that exercise is good for you, but did you know that it is so good for you that it could help ward off breast cancer? Studies have shown promising results. According to Cancer.gov, “Exercising four or more hours a week may decrease hormone levels and help lower breast cancer risk. The effect of exercise on breast cancer risk may be greatest in premenopausal woman of normal or low weight.” They also note that whenever adolescent girls workout regularly, it provides an equally effective protection. The best case scenario would be working out throughout your lifetime, but working out—period—will still reduce your risk compared to not being active at all.
Cancer.org seconds this advice and adds two other suggestions to the list: eat fewer calories and decrease alcohol consumption. Across the board, exercise is touted as a great way to decrease your odds against breast cancer.
Just how exactly does exercise help ward off the big bad C? According to the National Cancer Institute:
Physical activity may prevent tumor development by lowering hormone levels, particularly in premenopausal women; lowering levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), improving the immune response; and assisting with weight maintenance to avoid a high body mass and excess body fat.
Which exercise is best? All of it!
The goal is to get your body moving and to shed any unnecessary weight (or to maintain a current healthy weight). So while it’s great to do any type of physical activity, some provide more oomph than others.
For example: weight training; weight training helps increase your overall strength, lean muscle mass, and decreases body fat. Maintaining a healthy body fat is a crucial piece of the breast cancer fighting puzzle.
Cardio: cardiovascular activities are great for your heart, decrease stress, and help to shed some extra calories. Some examples include (but are not limited to) running, spinning, dancing, or using the elliptical.
How much should you exercise? Most studies suggest anywhere between 30-60 minutes each day of moderate to high-intensity activity to reap the most benefits. Out of the 24 hours in each day, we can surely sacrifice a measly half hour to an hour for our health can’t we?
Let’s face it—our bodies were made to move and we should be moving! Get the green light from your physician if needed and start slow, building your way up to the recommended guidelines. Make sure you pick something you enjoy so that you’re more likely to stick with it and enlist in a girlfriend or hire a trainer if need be—it’s hard to skip a workout whenever someone else is there waiting on you.
Power to the Pink! When are you working out today?
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of Pink Island Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email PinkIslandFitness@Live.com. She can also be reached at www.PinkIslandFitness.com and 239-333-5771.