Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee you won’t develop breast cancer at some point in your life, especially if this disease runs in your family. However, there are some preventative measures you can adopt to lower your chances of developing breast cancer, and one of them is regular exercise.
How Can Exercise Prevent Breast Cancer?
It has been proven that physical activity can decrease your risk of developing cancer by 20 percent, regardless of your genetic makeup. This conclusion was discovered by a group of researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, after conducting an extensive study.
The reason that exercise is such a preventative tool stems from the fact that exercise and regular movement reduces body fat. As your weight decreases, so does the circulation of hormones that can promote cancer growth, such as estrogen and insulin. This is because fatty tissues have the power to create these hormones. Therefore, the less extra weight your body holds onto, the lower your chances of developing breast cancer.
Which Exercises Should You Perform?
In order to get the best preventative benefits, you should exercise at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes or longer. You should aim for longer, moderate-intensity workouts, rather than short and intense sessions. Any type of activity will get the job done, whether it’s running, biking, hiking, swimming or using a cardio machine at the gym. You can get creative and enroll in a new fitness class, or you can join an adult sports team.
The easiest way to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine is to walk. You should strive to walk whenever possible; walk around the block after dinner, walk to lunch, walk to get coffee, or even walk around inside the mall. Better yet, sign up to do a breast cancer walk. This way, you’ll be supporting the cause while keeping yourself healthy.
Along with walking and cardio activity, you should also perform strength training and weight lifting exercises each week. This type of fitness will strengthen your bones and benefit your overall health. Also, since fat is burned inside the muscles, the more muscle you build, the less fat will be present within your body.
Other Preventative Measures
Keep in mind that in order to successfully reduce your breast cancer risk, your physical activity must be coupled with good eating habits and an overall healthy lifestyle. This means keeping your daily fat intake under control and incorporating a variety of vegetables, fruit, lean protein and grains into your diet. It also means significantly reducing your alcohol consumption. Excessive drinking can harm your health and make you more susceptible to disease. If you must drink, opt for a single glass of red wine, and don’t have more than one alcoholic beverage a day.
While nothing can fully prevent you from developing breast cancer, you owe it to your body to do everything possible to keep it healthy. If you are lucky enough to keep from getting sick, participate in a breast cancer walk to help those who aren’t as fortunate as you. What a perfect way to exercise to prevent breast cancer!