When it comes to exercise, you either love to exercise – or you hate it. I happen to love it. This is me with my daughter Janique and daughter-in-law De’Anne after running a half marathon last year. Don’t worry – you don’t have to run a marathon to take advantage of the benefits of exercise, you just need to move your body. 🙂
So you’re either going to love this news about exercise – or hate it – but you need to be aware of it. According to the National Cancer Institute, the one thing you can do to prevent or heal cancer more effectively is to avoid inactivity. Less than one-third of Breast Cancer survivors meet the recommended minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
In fact, there has been accumulating evidence that links exercise and the reduction of Breast Cancer risk. The greatest risk reduction was associated with women who committed three to five hours a week of activity.
This information is especially important to know as you focus on Balancing Your Energy (Essential #3) during your healing journey. A recent clinical trial found that regular exercise – as little as a one-hour brisk walk each week — could cut the risk of Breast Cancer recurrence up to 20 percent. Even better, those who exercised three to five hours/per week had a 50-percent risk reduction.
A recent new study that was just released by The British Journal of Sports Medicine showed hands down how beneficial exercise is for prevention and for reducing mortality rates. They looked at 71 studies and concluded that exercise decreased mortality risk by up to 35%.
- Researchers with the Epidemiology Research Program at the American Cancer Society analyzed data from more than 73,600 postmenopausal women over nearly two decades. Findings:
- Walking at least seven hours a week was associated with a 14% lower risk of developing Breast Cancer after menopause. Interestingly, exercise helped women whether or not they were overweight.
- The most active women – those who walked and did more vigorous exercise – had a 25% lower risk of Breast Cancer compared to the least active.
- Researchers in the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health followed 60,000 post-menopausal women for four years. Findings:
- Women who walked regularly at least four hours per week experienced a lower risk (at least 10%) of invasive Breast Cancer as compared to other women who exercised less during that same period.
- Researchers from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota divided several hundred sedentary, premenopausal women into an inactive group or a group that started a moderate aerobic program five times a week for 16 weeks. Findings:
- Those who did not exercise showed no changes in the ratios of their estrogen metabolites (other studies have found estrogen metabolites to indicate a heightened risk of Breast Cancer.)
- The ratios among those who exercised shifted in ways that are believed to indicate less of a chance of Breast Cancer.
What you should take away from these studies
All studies indicate that moving your body matters. For women healing Breast Cancer, in particular, physical activity regulates hormones, including estrogen and insulin, and can reduce the levels of fatty tissue, which secretes estrogen. We know that both estrogen and insulin can ignite Breast Cancer growth.
We also know that:
- Physical exercise alters sex hormones and their receptors in a way that causes cancer cell death.
- Certain proteins that are rich in cysteine are secreted from muscle tissue during exercise. These proteins slow down tumor growth by causing cancer cell death.
- Exercise improves immune function, and antioxidant activity and promotes DNA repair.
Exercise lover or hater, you can’t deny that it is essential to your continued good health.
Next steps: Lace them up
I recommend carving out at least 20 minutes a day to move and get your heart rate up. Make this time special. Add some music, some stretching before and after, and drink plenty of water.
I know that when we get busy with other parts of our lives exercise is often one of the first things to cut. Make a promise to yourself that exercise is the last thing to cut. I guarantee that you will feel amazing once you get started – in mind and body. The key is to be consistent, for consistently good outcomes.
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, better known as Dr. V, is the founder of The 7 Essentials System®, a step-by-step guide that teaches you exactly how to prevent and heal Breast Cancer Naturally.