Does physical activity reduce your risk of cancer? Spoiler alert: yes it does! Studies in Cancer Research UK, the American Cancer Society, the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, the European Journal of Epidemiology, and others have observed reduction in risk for those who have even a moderate level of regular aerobic exercise. Recently JAMA Internal Medicine joined the chorus with a massive and detailed study across 13 specific types of cancer showing as much as 42% reduction in risk. When you consider how exercise affects the body, such lowered risk makes perfect sense.
How Exercise Impacts Cancer Risk Factors
Let’s consider just some of the areas where cancer may develop, and what exercise does:
– Lungs: Breathe more, and you increase oxygen, challenge lung function to develop further, and if you exercise outdoors you are reducing the concentration of indoor air pollutants you bring in.
– Colon: As you exercise, you increase the movement of food through the digestive tract. The increased movement tends to reduce inflammation. As we move food waste out of the body, we reduce the irritation and inflammation it can cause.
– Breast: Estrogen, which causes the cells in the breast to divide more often, tends to reduce with exercise. Insulin is also controlled with exercise. As these hormones cause more rapid cell division, the risk of a misfire of the genetic code division is multiplied by the amount of extra division occurring.
– Blood: As you increase circulation, you also improve the oxygen flow to all parts of your body. Good oxygen supply promotes healthy cell development, not cancer.
Basically, aerobic exercise affects every part of our bodies. We are built to move.
Just How Much is Cancer Risk Reduced?
The JAMA study is capturing the medical news because of its size: 1.4 million people were in the study group. Here are some of the risk reductions they determined:
- Esophageal cancer: 42% decrease.
- Myeloma, bladder, colon, neck, or rectal cancer: up to 17% decrease.
- Liver cancer: 27% decrease.
- Lung, stomach, or kidney cancer: up to 26% decrease.
ASCO, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, considers the risk reduction to be 40% to 50% for colon cancer, and 30% to 40% lower for breast cancer. Bottom line: you have a lot less risk of developing cancer with regular aerobic exercise!
Types of Exercise
These studies considered walking, running, swimming, and cycling as good sources of moderate exercise. More than 3 hours a week, or 30 minutes a day of these activities are sufficient. Sports are fantastic, but just taking half of a lunch hour to walk briskly can be enough. We already know how some activity each day improves your mental clarity, makes your joints more limber, and cuts down the insulin and cortisol levels — isn’t it interesting that the same activities would lower cancer risk? Again, it makes perfect sense. Overall, regular exercise is expected to increase longevity by seven years.
Weather can make outdoor exercise a challenge at times. Treadmills and indoor cycles are helpful, but also can be rather boring and can be hard on joints. Here’s something else that can help: a Rebounder. This is a specialized type mini trampoline which is tuned to provide a special bounce that is remarkably effective in strengthening each cell with mild or vigorous use. You may want to consider this amazing little device. Consider the Total Health Institute Rebounder.
Dr. Nemec’s Comments:
Exercise is critical and crucial to life and health of every cell in your body. Without the movement of blood and lymph your body would cease to be. When the Journal of the American Medical Association publishes research of over one million people, this is very big. The results speak for themselves. Those that want to overcome any disease including cancer or just stay healthy absolutely must exercise. This includes walking, and any more intense cardiovascular exercise you like from going up and down stairs to swimming. The exercise that people do not do enough of is called lymphatic exercise which is done on a rebounder. Just 5 minutes per hour when you’re home triples your white blood movement for one hour. Very powerful and very simple. Just get on the rebounder and vibrate up and down. Your feet do not have to come off the mat. So start rebounding, walking and going up and down those stairs today.
Dr. Keith Nemec
Total Health Institute