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Get ready to lower your cancer risk with exercise

Exercise is one of the most important actions you can take to help prevent many types of cancer.  You may be surprised to hear this, but up to a third of all cancer-related deaths are linked to a sedentary lifestyle or levels of obesity.

Most people are aware of the benefits of exercise when preventing heart disease, but exercise can also play a huge role in preventing cancer.  In fact, lifestyle factors are often a bigger cause of cancer than your genes.

What are the main benefits of exercise?

Being active can help you to lose weight and also maintain a happy and healthy weight for your body, which will help to reduce the risk of over 13 different types of cancer.

The more active you are, the greater the health benefits.  And if you are exercising a lot, this can have a huge impact on helping to prevent bowel cancer and breast cancer.

How does exercise help to prevent breast cancer?

Being active can affect the levels of some hormones in your body.  If you need a little refresh about the role hormones play in the body, hormones are basically chemical messages that are carried round the body to tell different parts of the body what to do.  For example, both insulin and oestrogen are hormones.

Cancer starts in the body when cells divide too much and continue to multiply.  Oestrogen has been shown to increase cell division in the body. If you are staying active and incorporating exercise into your weekly routine, this can help to reduce the levels of oestrogen in your body.

Win your battle against colon cancer

Exercise can play a dramatic role in helping to prevent colon and rectum cancer.  New studies indicate that exercisers can reduce their risk of colon cancer by up to 20% compared to people who are more sedentary.  During exercise, other substances like digestive acids can changes, and it is these changes that are believed to offer some protection from colon cancer.  Decreased levels of insulin and body fat are also linked to exercisers’ lower risk of colon cancer.

Stop being a couch potato!

This is easier than you think!  Just half an hour of exercise a day will help get you started on your new exercise journey.  A leisurely bike ride or 30-minute walk is an easy way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.  Here are some other ways to become more active:

  •      Instead of taking public transport to work, why not walk or bike to your destination?
  •      Wear a Fitbit or pedometer to track your daily step increases
  •      Opt to take the stairs instead of the lift
  •      Schedule in an exercise class on your lunch break
  •      Park a little further away from your destination for a nice walk to work

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