So, jumping on that treadmill or going for a run with the dog can help prevent cancer?
In fact, according to the study published in Cancer, women who were active in their childbearing years and those who began a workout routine in their menopausal years both reported lower rates of breast cancer than those who were sedentary.
And, the news gets better; the regime need not be militant to be effective.
The study included 1,500 women with breast cancer and 1,550 cancer-free women, all the same age. All were interviewed about their lifetime exercise habits and other lifestyle factors, like smoking and drinking.
Those who had exercised for 10 to 19 hours a week in their “reproductive years” were one-third less likely to have breast cancer than women who had been sedentary during that time. Women who started exercising after menopause also had a lower risk. If they averaged nine to 17 hours a week, they were 30 percent less likely to have breast cancer than their inactive peers.
Now, while exercise alone will not prevent any disease, this news means that women of every age should be stepping away from their computers at work as well as getting off the couch and moving on a regular basis.
Some of the best activities for women past childbearing years are low impact in nature. These can include walking with a friend, stretching, physical therapy, swimming or water aerobics, yoga or Tai Chi, gardening, golf or tennis, biking, hiking or lightweight training.
Water aerobics is an especially popular choice in the Arizona summer.
Swimming and water aerobics can help get one’s heart rate up without putting undue stress on the body. And, because the bones and joints are at a minimal risk of sustaining pain or injury when exercising in water, swimming and water aerobics are especially good options for those suffering from arthritis, neck and back pain or obesity.
As an added bonus, water aerobics group fitness classes — and really most group fitness settings — encourage social interaction, which is really important to emotional well-being in all stages of life and produces some added “bonus” benefits including:
A note on safety
Almost as important as the workout you choose are the safety precautions you take in order to continue the routine in the long-term. Some best bets: