New research makes a strong case for exercise as a way to help prevent cancer both for men and women. Let’s consider the results of two related studies.
Men - Those with stronger muscles from regular weight training are up to 40 percent less likely to die from cancer, according to new research. These findings suggest that muscular strength is as important as staying slim and eating healthy when it comes to protecting your body against deadly tumors.
A team of experts tracked the lifestyles of over 8,500 men for more than two decades. Each volunteer had regular medical check ups that included tests of their muscular strength. The men who regularly worked out with weights and had the highest muscle strength were between 30 percent and 40 percent less likely to lose their life to a deadly tumor.
Even among volunteers who were overweight, regular weight training seemed to have a protective effect, although the researchers stressed that keeping a healthy weight was still crucial for avoiding premature death.
But they added, “In the light of these results, it is equally important to maintain healthy muscular strength levels.”
Researchers said it’s possible to reduce cancer mortality rates in men by promoting resistance training involving the major muscle groups at least two days a week.
Women – exercise reduces breast cancer . Reports have shown that excess weight and large sizes have been associated to a higher risk of breast cancer.
It remains unclear the amount or intensity of exercise that is needed to produce this effect and at what age the physical activity must occur. The study consisted of a group of 74,171 women aged 50-79 from 40 U.S. clinical centers between 1993-1998 for the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.
Information collected was based on factors such as medical, family history, physical activity, diet, height, weight and lifetime use of hormone therapy.
In a four-and-a-half year follow-up of the study, breast cancer was newly diagnosed in 1,780 of the women. The study also revealed that women who participated in regular strenuous physical activities at the age of 35 decreased their risk of breast cancer by 14 percent compared with less active women.
This is further evidence that exercise before and after menopause are linked to breast cancer prevention. The effect was realized even with small increments of exercise equivalent to one to two hours per week of brisk walking. The results have shared similarities to those associated with decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease among post menopausal women and those with diabetes.