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Cancer: Another Reason To Start Exercising

By Expert HERWriter
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cancer is yet another reason to start exercising Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Every woman knows the benefits of regular physical activity yet our society continues to be relatively sedentary. This can lead to a number of health problems.

The American Heart Association recommends about 30 minutes per day at least five times per week, or 175 minutes of moderate exercise per week broken down how you want.

This information is echoed by the American Cancer Society who also suggests the 30 minutes five times per week of moderate activity.

Given this information, we continue to stay still. However recent research published in the May 2012 Journal of the National Cancer Institute might be enough to motivate Americans.

According to the researchers, exercise improves chances for cancer survival, particularly that of breast and colon cancer. Considering that cancer is the Number Two threat affecting women (after heart disease which is also benefited by exercise), that’s even more of a reason to dust off your sneakers and start earning your 175 minutes per week.

The authors state, “... exercise may provide benefits to survivors’ insulin levels, reduce inflammation, and, possibly, improve immunity.” All of these things are very important when both treating cancer and surviving after the fact.

Remember that with breast cancer, the Number One risk is just being a woman whereas only 5-10 percent of breast cancers are genetic (meaning your family has the breast cancer gene).

With colon cancer, 90 percent are in people over 50 years of age. Exercise is what is known as a "modifiable risk" meaning you can actually do something about it, unlike gender, age, or genetics.

Does this mean you need to go out and become a warrior? No, especially if you have never owned a pair of running shoes.

But then it doesn’t mean you need to pick up running either. If you are new to physical activity, start with something easy such as walking briskly for 30 minutes outside or on a treadmill.

Get out your bike (and helmet) and go for a long bike ride. Take a hike.

Start attending a class at a gym, the local ‘Y,’ or community center.

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As an exercise specialist and cancer survivior I appreciate your helping spread the word on the beneficial role exercise plays in preventing, treating, and moving beyond a cancer diagnosis! For those readers with cancer looking for more guidelines, please visit http://www.workingoutcancer.com/

Be well!

May 30, 2012 - 3:52am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.