Thursday, August 20, 2009
Does Exercise Reduce Cancer Risk?
We all know that exercise is good for us. It keeps us fit and our body healthy. What else is new? Based on a new finding, exercise can reduce our cancer risk.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Finnish researchers recently concluded that, if you wish to ward off lung or gastrointestinal cancer, you might want to spend your leisure time jogging instead of picking berries, mushroom gathering or fishing.
The study found that the more arduous the exercise was, the more protective it proved for the 2,560 middle-aged Finns studied. The health of these subjects, all men, was studied over the course of about 17 years. They kept diaries of their daily activities for a year. Jogging was the most strenuous activity studied, fishing among the least. The men who jogged or otherwise exercised fairly intensely for at least 30 minutes a day had “a 50 percent reduction in the risk of dying prematurely from cancer.
Results of other findings include:
The most active people are 24 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than sedentary people are, regardless of their diets, smoking habits or body weight.
Women over age 30 who defined themselves as “highly competitive” by disposition and who exercised more than the average for the group had much less risk of developing breast cancer than women who worked out for less than 60 minutes per week.
In order to use exercise to reduce the risk of cancer, you must make yourself sweat. In the Finnish study, the most beneficial exercise was both frequent and demanding.
If you are not that hardworking when it comes to exercising, at least moderately intense physical activity is more beneficial than low intensity physical activity in the prevention of cancer. The takeaway, in other words, is that jogging trumps berry picking.
How many of you hit the gym a few times a week or go jogging or engage in other active sports? Good for you.
Source: NY Times