November 06, 2023
For years, studies have proved the benefits of exercise and regular physical activities for our overall health and well-being. From improving cardiovascular fitness to improving mental health - exercise can help reduce the risk of numerous health issues, including cancer.
In this blog post, we will share detailed insights into the connection between exercise and cancer prevention and highlight the potential impact of an active lifestyle on overall health. Read on to learn more.
Excess body fat can lead to chronic inflammation, which is one of the main risk factors in cancer development. Regular physical activities and exercise can help burn calories, which can help individuals lose excess fat in their bodies. Exercise also helps regulate appetite hormones, preventing overeating or choosing unhealthy foods.
In addition, exercise can also increase metabolism and help the body absorb essential nutrients and antioxidants that support a healthy immune system and DNA repair mechanisms. Both of these elements are critical for cancer prevention.
Regular exercise helps maintain healthy levels of insulin and improves insulin sensitivity naturally. Elevated insulin levels can increase the risk of various cancers, including breast, colon, and pancreatic cancers.
In addition, exercise prevents estrogen imbalance in women, which can lead to breast and ovarian cancers. Moreover, physical activity also balances other hormones like leptin and adiponectin to prevent the growth and proliferation of cancer cells.
When we exercise, it triggers the release of anti-inflammatory substances and reduces the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. As a result, it can regulate the body's inflammatory response and prevent chronic inflammation, which is a known risk factor for cancer. Persistent inflammation can damage DNA, promote cell mutations, and create a favorable environment for cancer growth and spread.
Exercise not only prevents systemic inflammation but also enhances the immune system's ability to recognize and eliminate abnormal cells.
Physical activity stimulates the muscles of the digestive tract, aiding in the movement of food and waste through the system. As a result, it can alleviate common digestive issues like constipation and bloating, which can increase the risk of cancer if not treated for long.
In addition, a balanced and efficient digestive system can effectively remove toxins and harmful substances from the body, reducing exposure to harmful carcinogens. These carcinogens can significantly increase the risk of cancer if they stay in our system for a long time.
Exercise can stimulate the circulation of immune cells, enabling the immune system to identify and combat pathogens and abnormal cells more effectively. It can also reduce inflammation, which can weaken the immune response and promote cancer development. By boosting the immune system, exercise helps the body identify and destroy cancer cells before they can proliferate, providing a crucial defense against cancer and its progression.
Several studies have found that exercise can specifically reduce the risk of the following cancers:
While physical activity can reduce the risk of many types of cancer, it should be part of a healthy lifestyle plan that includes a healthy diet. Additionally, individual factors like genetics, family history, and other lifestyle choices can also influence cancer risk. Individuals should consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance on cancer prevention.
Reduce the time you spend sitting by taking short walking breaks and moving for at least one to two minutes every hour. Prolonged periods of sitting elevate the risk of cancer, even in the presence of regular exercise.
Plan your exercise routine by specifying the location, timing, and method of engagement, and gradually increase the intensity.
The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. The most effective approach involves a blend of both types of exercise. Activity can be distributed across shorter intervals, with durations as brief as 10 minutes each.
Engage in strength training, also known as resistance training, twice a week to increase endurance and enhance your metabolism.
The power of exercise in reducing cancer risk is undeniable, but its impact goes far beyond cancer prevention. Individuals who are already diagnosed with cancer can incorporate regular physical activity into their treatment plan to increase its efficacy. Research suggests that exercise can help improve treatment outcomes, enhance the body's immune system, and reduce the side effects. Moreover, exercise not only aids recovery but also reduces the risk of cancer recurrence. Therefore, it is a powerful tool to lead a quality life even after a cancer diagnosis.
For any queries or concerns about cancer prevention or how to incorporate exercise into your daily routine after a cancer diagnosis, contact ACTC. We are one of the leading cancer centers in Florida offering advanced cancer treatment options under the supervision of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals. Visit our website to schedule an appointment now!