According to a study published online in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, adults who engage in at least five hours of exercise per week are less likely to develop cancer than those who don’t. The risk reduction was especially noticeable for certain types of cancer, such as ovarian and breast cancer. Even those who don’t have a lot of time for regular exercise can benefit from breaking it up into shorter segments.
How Do Five Hours of Exercise Contribute to Fewer Cancer Cases?
Five hours of exercise each week can help with a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type II diabetes. Additionally, exercise can improve mood, cognitive function, sleep quality, and overall quality of life. Some possible explanations for why five hours of exercise per week reduces cancer include:
- Exercise helps keep the body healthy and functioning at its best, which can help prevent the disease from developing.
- Exercise helps boost the immune system, which can help the body fight off cancer cells.
- Exercise can help reduce stress levels, which can help to a lower risk of developing cancer.
- Chronic inflammation can also contribute to some types of cancer. Thus, it is essential to exercise to help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for certain types of cancer. Exercise can help you lose weight and lower your risk of getting cancer.
As a result, there are numerous potential benefits of exercise concerning cancer. However, it is essential to note that exercise should not place the traditional cancer treatments like surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Instead, it would help if you used it with these treatments to help improve outcomes and quality of life.
What Are Some Tips for Getting More Exercise in Your Life?
Five hours of weekly exercise is not easy for everyone, especially if you have a busy schedule. So, you need the following tips to help get more exercise in your life:
- Begin slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you exercise each week. This will make it easier to stick with it.
- Pick an activity that you enjoy and can do regularly. This will increase the likelihood that you will stick with it.
- Make some goals to help you stay motivated. For example, aim to walk 30 minutes daily, five days per week.
- Find a partner or a group to exercise with. This can make it more enjoyable and help you stay on track.
- Exercise at a convenient time of day for you. If you find it difficult to exercise during the week, try exercising on weekends or early in the morning.
- Before beginning an exercise program, consult your doctor if you have any health concerns.
While the study does not prove that exercise is a cancer-fighting miracle cure, it does provide yet another compelling reason to incorporate regular exercise into your weekly routine. If you don’t have time for a five-hour workout every week, even 30 minutes of moderate activity can help lower your risk of developing cancer.