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Five Sensational Ways Exercise Helps Prevent Cancer

Exercise has been proven in thousands of studies to both prevent and fight disease. Can exercise help prevent cancer?

Can Exercise Help Prevent Cancer?

We all know that exercise is critical for the improvement of health and well-being.  It is, of course, beneficial for cardiovascular health, joint stability, postural balance and improved emotional well-being. Exercise has many physiological responses in the body which explain why it is useful for helping with cancer treatment. Exercise has been proven in thousands of studies to both prevent and fight disease. Exercise is a complementary treatment without harmful side effects! Can exercise help prevent cancer?

1)     Exercise Reduces the Risk of Breast Cancer

There have been many studies done on the effects of exercise on hormone levels such as estrogen. One study was published by American Association for Cancer Research on “Effect of Exercise on Serum Estrogens in Postmenopausal Women (2). Their objective was to investigate the effects of a 12-month moderate-intensity exercise program on serum estrogens.

They concluded that a 12-month moderate-intensity exercise program in postmenopausal women resulted in significant decreases in serum estrogens.  Many of the participants showed reductions at 12 months of 11.9%, 13.7%, and 16.7% for serum estrone, estradiol, and free estradiol, respectively. The women showed that with increased physical activity it reduced their risk for postmenopausal breast cancer due, in part, by reducing serum estrogens.

2)     Exercise Balances Insulin Levels

Balancing insulin levels is also important in the fight against cancer and exercise plays a vital role.  D. Barry Boyd, MD, MS, did a study on obesity’s link to mortality from many cancers (4).  He showed how new documentation supported the role of insulin and IGF-1 as important growth factors in enhancing tumor cell proliferation.  There are advancing relationships between excessive insulin and the diagnosis in colon, prostate and pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Boyd stated that there is an opportunity for a multidisciplinary approach involving nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction in an integrative setting which may be crucial to limiting the insulin-resistant state and improving cancer outcomes.

3)     Exercise is Attributed to a Reduction in Colon Cancer

Exercise can also be attributed to reduced risk of colon cancer. Some researchers feel this is because exercise reduces the amount of time it takes for food to travel through the small and large intestinal tracts, which subsequently decreases gastrointestinal exposure to possible carcinogens.  Evidence from 19 studies (9) showed a statistically compelling reduction in the risk of colon cancer in physically active males and females.

4)     Exercise Strengthens the Immune System

Exercise does cause a change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs increase the body’s immune system that fights disease. When you exercise, antibodies circulate more quickly through the body so they can detect illnesses earlier than when you are sedentary.  Scientists know that exercise can help to flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. Reducing bacteria in the airway might reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.

Similar to a fever, the rise in body temperature during exercise and immediately after could prevent bacterial growth. Scientists feel the rise in temperature could help the body fight infection. Exercise can also improve health by increasing circulation, thereby allowing healing substances to move through the body doing their job quickly and effectively reducing the risk of getting sick.

It is important to note that although exercise is good for you, overdoing it can be dangerous. Over exercising can be detrimental to your health. Hire a personal trainer to develop a well-rounded program that incorporates cardio, weight training and flexibility. People who already workout cannot and should not try to workout harder or more often with the thought that they will increase their immunity. The body needs rest days so that it can repair itself for future workouts. Overtraining weakens the immune system.

5)     Exercise is a Pillar of Good Health

Overall, it is important to remember that exercise is one of the main pillars of good health. It helps to improve heart health, lowers blood pressure, reduces body weight with an appropriate diet plan and protects against a variety of diseases by contributing to maintaining hormonal balance in the body.  Exercise reduces the secretion of stress hormones, which in excess, long-term can increase the chance of illness.

If you are looking to prevent cancer, exercise is a great way to help reduce your risk.

Hiring a certified Personal Trainer through Infofit is one of the best investments you can make for your overall health and fitness. If you are serious about a future, fueled by healthy eating, increased activity and infinite possibilities then start with your very own Infofit life coach and personal trainer.

Cathie Glennon – BCRPA/SFL

  5. (Boyd DB.
  6. Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Dec;2(4):315-29. Review. PMID: 14713323)
  7. Smith U, Gale EA. Does diabetes therapy influence the risk of cancer? Diabetologia 2009;52:1699–1708 [PubMed]