Our last blog post discussed the risk factors for breast cancer. Some you can’t control, like genetics or a family history of the disease, but there are other risk factors that you can reduce. One of the easiest and most important ways to decrease your risk of disease is to exercise.
Researchers have discovered a clear link between weight and cancer risk. Recent studies have shown that postmenopausal women who are obese (BMI greater than 30) have an increased risk of breast cancer. This is largely due to the fact that after menopause, most of a woman’s estrogen comes from fat tissue, and extra fat tissue causes higher level of estrogen, which can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer.
Exercising will cut down your body mass index, which will help reduce your risk. But that’s not all – it turns out exercise itself can cut your risk!
The Women’s Health Initiative showed that brisk walking for as little as 1.25 to 2.5 hours a week reduced breast cancer risk by 18%. Many experts recommend exercising a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
It’s not well understood why this is true, but there are some theories. Physical activity may prevent tumors from developing by lowering hormone levels, reducing the amount of insulin in the body, and improving immune response.
It is clear that exercise is an important component of reducing your risk factors for breast cancer and many other diseases. Making exercise a part of your daily routine is vital. Look to the Bee Active blog for tips, and track your calories on BeeWell. These are all easy ways to make good health choices a part of your daily life.