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February 4, 2010 • Cancer Prevention, Healthy Living

Why Exercise Is The Magic Bullet You Need

I remain in awe of the spectacular power physical activity provides on the disease-busting front.  Two new studies trumpet yet again its effectiveness for keeping the big C at bay.  Reporting in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (July 09), Finnish researchers concluded that men who engaged in moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes daily were 50% less likely to get cancer vs. men who did less.  The study included over 2,500 men ages 42-61 who were followed for 16 years.  In the second report, Canadian researchers determined that breast cancer survivors who engaged in recreational exercise and sports over their lifetimes, significantly reduced their risk of breast cancer death and recurrence.  After following 1,231 breast cancer patients for at least 8.3 years, those who reported 4 or more hours of moderate intensity exercise weekly over their lifetimes were 44% less likely to die from their cancer and 34% less likely to have recurrence compared to those who reported less exercise.

Keep in mind that based on the most exhaustive review of science to date, the 3 most powerful lifestyle strategies available to decrease overall cancer risk are (in order of importance):  avoiding tobacco, maintaining a healthy body weight, and engaging in regular physical activity.