We all know that activity is good for us but many of us don’t do it. There are many benefits to exercise, including the fact that it prevents cancer. That’s right. Not only does it help you feel better, look better and function better, you are likely to live longer and avoid diseases as nasty as cancer. Of course, I’m not talking about exercising occasionally. But if you make moderate to vigorous exercise a daily, or nearly daily activity, you’re less likely to get cancer. On top of that you’re at a lower risk of other significant diseases like heart disease.
Activity that qualifies as ‘moderate’ to ‘vigourous’ makes you sweat and increases your heart rate significantly. It can include swimming, riding a bike and running. It is NOT walking your dog or slowly pedaling a stationary bike while you text your friends. I’m not saying these types of activities are un-useful or somehow “bad.” After all, some activity is always better than none. But what I am saying, is that if it easy to do, it will contribute only a little to your increased health and lower chance of disease.
Exercise for colon health
Being diagnosed with colon cancer can be one of the scariest things your doctor can tell you. Dying is often not the worst of it because of the pain and suffering that often accompanies it. But studies show that those that exercise on a regular basis have as much as a 50% lower chance of getting it.1 Folks that do it their wholes lives, rather than starting, say at 40, may have an even lower risk.2
Start a program of exercise to avoid breast cancer
Men are not immune from breast cancer but of course, it is much more common in women. For them, at least, exercisers have as much as a 40% lower risk of breast cancer. In addition, exercise decreases the risk of breast cancer in those that have already had it before.3 Even ladies who have a family history of breast cancer experience this lower risk. Presumably men do too, but again, they rarely get it anyway, so naturally there aren’t really many studies about them.
Protect your uterus, even if you don’t currently use it
Once again, we’re just talking the ladies here as men don’t have the equipment to get this type of cancer. Nevertheless, there is some research that suggests a lower cancer risk among women who exercise.4
Exercise and cancer risk
You don’t have to be a smoker to get lung cancer. In fact, it is unexpectedly common among non-smokers. But whether you are or not, your chances of getting lung cancer are much lower if you exercise regularly. As you might expect, not very many smokers also exercise on a regular basis, but even among smokers who do, the risk of lung cancer is lower.5 Of course, smokers in general have a lung cancer risk that is several times higher than non-smokers, exercise reduces everyones’ risk.
The bottom line: Exercise prevents cancer
Research is ongoing in terms of exercise and cancer. In fact, even light exercise, while less effective that moderate or vigorous, still provides some benefit. So basically, if your just moving most of the time, your chances of getting cancer are a little lower. While I have just mentioned a few types of cancer, your risk of all types of cancer is lower when you exercise. Studies suggest as much as 40% lower. I hope that’s significant enough to motivate you to get out there and sweat!6