Experts are finding new evidence of the benefits of exercise in cancer prevention. New exercise guidelines are being developed for candidates who are in an at-risk group for cancer and patients with cancer, according to Prevent Disease. With new guidelines, exercise is just as important as nutrition and dietary choices.
How Can Exercise Prevent Cancer?Through studies, scientists have shown how regular workouts can prevent certain cancers such as endometrial cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer. One study conducted in Copenhagen showed how exercise strengthens the immune system. When the immune system is healthy, the body can fight cancer-causing free radicals. Thus, people are protected from development of cancer.
Though there is no conclusive evidence, exercise may also be effective in preventing the on-set of mesothelioma. This type of cancer may lie dormant in the body for years after exposure to asbestos before actually manifesting in the form of cancer. If exercise is made a regular part of cancer treatment for mesothelioma after exposure, a potential cancer patient may prolong his or her life.
Not only is exercise effective in prevention but also in treatment. One study on the effects of lung cancer and exercise revealed how cancer patients who exercised regularly lowered their risk of dying by 20 percent. Highly fit men were found to have a 60 percent lower risk of dying, according to Prevent Disease. In general, studies showed that sedentary men were twice as likely to die as physically fit men. Apparently, even men who smoked in this study had an increased chance of living.
What Type of Exercise is Effective in Preventing Cancer?Walking or cycling are both recommended forms of exercise. Exercises must be completed on a regular basis to be effective. Most physicians recommend between three and five days of rigorous activity. Exercises should last 30 to 45 minutes per day. Exercise improves blood flow, energy levels and organ functionality. With increased functionality, the body’s immune system is strengthened and can fight cancer.
In general, any type of aerobic activity will prevent and decrease the likelihood of the cancer spreading in the body. Though studies are inconclusive, experts believe that one-third of all deaths related to cancer can be attributed to poor diets and sedentary lifestyles. Exercise is important to improve the longevity of a patient’s life.
Other Correlations Between Cancer and ExercisePeople who exercise regularly also engage in other healthy habits in most instances. They are less likely to consume unhealthy foods such as saturated fats or participate in unhealthy habits such as smoking. Highly fit people are less likely to develop cancer and if they do, they are most likely to prevent the spread of the disease through exercise.
Since exercise is a contributing factor in prevention of cancer, experts suggest that cancer is a systemic disease rather than a local disease. Thus, cancer affects the entire body rather than a localized area.
Physicians are recommending holistic care for effective cancer treatment. Physical health, mental health, immune system health and spiritual health are all components of managing cancer. Exercise is an essential component of managing physical and mental health.