The past few years have seen scientists and medical experts explore underlying reasons that might lead to the onset of life-threatening illnesses. In this regard, cancer prevention and therapy is one area that has seen increased focus and investments.
This is in line with several linkages that have been successfully established between illnesses and physical activity. For example, some years back, patients that were diagnosed with heart0related ailments were forbidden to undertake any form of physical exercise.
Cut to 2021, and cardiologists are actively advocating physical activities to improve heart strength and promote recovery. The same has been clinically established in a large and wide-ranging study that was carried out by the American Cancer Society.
In this resource article, we look at how 300 minutes of moderate exercises each week could help prevent cancer. If you or someone you know is undergoing cancer treatment, this article can be very helpful for you.
Cancer Prevention and Physical Activity: What has the study established?
First things first. Engaging in moderate to light exercises for 300 minutes per week has been found to limit the risk of 13 types of different cancers. Let us try to examine the same in some detail-
- Experts point out that normal individuals that exercise regularly do not suffer from increased weight gain or obesity. This is directly linked to the onset of several different types of cancers. By being of a certain healthy weight, you limit the chances.
- Having active and healthy lifestyle matters not only for preventing cancers, but also other illnesses. For example, working out helps in improved blood flow works out the internal organs, and allows for building immunity.
- Increased physical activity, which includes aerobics and weight training can help in preventing chest, bowel, and colon cancer. Earlier studies related to these specific types had been inconclusive.
It is true that physical activities cannot help eliminate all types of cancers. However, whether it is preventing the same, or helping with the progress during the recovery and treatment stages, physical activities can be very helpful.
There are numerous other lifestyle changes that have the potential to reduce the risk of developing cancer, such as being safe in the sun and giving up on bad habits.
What is the prescribed level of physical activity that is recommended by experts?
Let us try to break up this section into two parts. In the first part, we look at normal individuals that are looking to prevent cancer and the type of physical activity they should engage with. In the second part, we look at if you have been diagnosed with cancer, what is the prescribed level of physical activity that you should undertake.
- Normal Individuals looking to prevent cancer-
Medical experts and scientists recommend moderate levels of physical activity for this set of individuals. Moderate physical activity can even mean walking briskly at a speed of 3 miles per hour or covering a standing mile in 20 minutes. You can cycle, jog or even walk your pet dog and all of it comes under moderate-intensity workouts.
- Individuals fighting cancer and undergoing treatment-
Individuals that are undergoing treatment for cancer need to engage in thirty minutes of aerobic exercises at least three times a week. Additionally, they should also be able to carry out two to three strength-training sessions every week for best results. Studies have found that this helps in building strength and allows the body to absorb and process the treatment better.
Studies were able to establish that in addition to checking growing weight, physical activity plays a progressive role in reducing estrogen levels and ensulin. Some cancers are directly linked to these two factors. Exercises also help in the production of certain antibodies that limit the chances of cancer. Lastly, having healthy metabolism helps in better digestion, and removal of toxins from the body. Both these reduce the risks.
The Bottom Line
One of the major reasons that this study is being celebrated is because of the scale on which it was done. It has been able to conclusively establish the link between physical activity and lowered risk of cancer. If you have any more questions or doubts on the topic, feel free to let us know in the comments below. We will request our leading medical experts to address as many of your concerns as possible.