Walk Your Way to a Longer Life: How Exercise Cuts Cancer Death Risk in Half

Cancer is a disease that affects millions of lives and takes a massive emotional, physical, and financial toll. But wouldn’t it be incredible if making a simple change in your daily routine could help lessen the risk of dying from cancer? Research suggests that you can do just that, by making one key lifestyle adjustment: exercising regularly.

According to a 15-year study at Loyola University, incorporating exercise into your life can lead to a longer, more fulfilling existence for those diagnosed with cancer. Imagine reducing your risk of dying by a staggering 49 percent, just by adding regular physical activity to your routine.

Workout your way to a healthier life

In the study, more than a thousand men were assessed, and the correlation between their levels of exercise and their cancer survival rates was observed. Those who exercised the most demonstrated a significant reduction in their risk of dying during the study’s timeframe. In contrast, the men who engaged in minimal physical activity saw much higher mortality rates.

The sedentary men in the study burned less than 2,100 calories per week through physical activities. On the other hand, the men who exercised the most, and who generally lived longer, burned more than 12,600 calories each week. To put this in perspective, a man weighing approximately 175 pounds can burn 12,600 calories per week by walking briskly for an hour and a half daily.

This research led the scientists to conclude, “Thus physical activity should be actively promoted (by healthcare providers) to such individuals (with cancer) to enhance longevity.”

It’s crucial to stay active and healthy, regardless of your age or health status. Through regular exercise, anyone can improve their overall health and potentially prolong their life.

Exercise benefits: beyond cancer

The benefits of adopting a consistent exercise routine extend far beyond merely reducing your risk of dying from cancer. Exercise has been proven to promote better mental health, decrease the risk of heart disease, reduce stress, and improve memory.

Moreover, exercise can help combat other forms of chronic illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that regular physical activity can help lower the risk of developing various conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.(source)

What type of exercise is best?

It’s essential to choose an exercise routine that best suits your individual needs, preferences, and abilities. A few popular activities to consider include:

  • Walking: As demonstrated in the study, walking briskly for an hour and a half daily can lead to significant health improvements. Walking is a low-impact workout and is relatively accessible for all ages and fitness levels.

  • Running: For those who are more athletically inclined or want a more intense workout, running can be a fantastic cardiovascular exercise that helps increase endurance and shed calories.

  • Swimming: Swimming is an excellent low-impact activity suitable for individuals with joint pain or mobility issues. It’s an effective full-body workout that aids in strengthening the muscles and burning calories.

  • Yoga: Practicing yoga can help improve flexibility, build muscle strength, and reduce stress. Incorporating this form of exercise into a cancer recovery plan can also help in regaining a sense of control after potentially debilitating treatments.

  • Strength training: Building lean muscle mass can help protect the body against injury and support overall health. Use resistance bands, weights, or bodyweight exercises to target different muscle groups.

Always consult with a healthcare professional or qualified personal trainer before beginning a new exercise regimen, especially if you’re recovering from cancer or have a history of medical issues.

The importance of consistency

To reap the full benefits of exercise, consistency is key. Set attainable goals and stick to them. Over time, you’ll likely find that exercise becomes an indispensable part of your daily routine.

Overall,regular exercise has enormous potential to lengthen your life and help you overcome cancer, as well as the power to reduce risk factors for many other diseases. Start moving today and take control of your health – the rewards are invaluable.