A cancer diagnosis is terrifying. If you could keep it away with exercise, would you buy a Fitbit and race to the gym? How effective is exercising in lowering the risk of cancer? You might be surprised.
- Exercise lowers inflammation. Inflammation provides fertile ground for the formation of cancer cells.
- Exercising just twenty minutes each day can increase the functionality of the immune system. A healthy immune system can attack and rid the body of newly forming cancer cells.
It lowers hormones such as estrogen and insulin. This reduces the risks of various female cancers and cancer of the colon. After menopause, when most women put on belly fat, more estrogen is stored. Exercise will help reduce those stores.
- Exercising lowers the overall body mass index. The link between cancer and obesity continues to be studied. However, most results suggest an increased risk for cancer in conjunction with elevated fat reserves. This applies to both men and women.
- The effects of exercise on already existing cancers show promise as well. Because it boosts the immune system, it increases the ability to fight off rapidly forming cells. Thus, slowing the growth rate of some tumors.
Motivations to exercise
No one wants cancer. We all want to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. There are people counting on us and we wish to enjoy them. Therefore, any type of sickness or disease slows us down and steals our quality of life. And theirs.
If finding ways to exercise are complicated and confusing, consider joining a senior fitness program. Many cities offer classes in low-impact aerobics, stretching, and dance for exercise. You may find a program for grandparents where you and your grandchild can get moving together. Thus, more time shared–and maybe more years together.