Exercise lowers your chances of getting cancer. You’ve likely heard this many times.
But it begs the question: How much does it really help?
Is it enough to make a real difference? And how much do you have to exercise to get significant benefits?
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute recently set out to answer these questions. They looked at dozens of cancer studies worldwide that followed more than 1.4 million people.
The scientists calculated the anti-cancer benefits of the equivalent of brisk walking for an hour each day.
They found that exercise is much more potent against some types of cancer than others.1 For example, exercise is very effective against esophageal (throat cancer). But it has only a slight effect on breast cancer risk.2
An Hour a Day of Walking Does This…
Exercisers lower the risk of:
- Esophageal cancer by 42%
- Liver cancer by 27%
- Lung cancer by 26%
- Stomach cancer by 22%
- Endometrial cancer by 21%
- Leukemia by 20%
- Multiple myeloma by 17%
- Colon cancer by 16%
- Head and neck cancer by 15%
- Rectal and bladder cancers by 13%
- Breast cancer by 10%
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One odd finding: Exercise greatly lowers the risk of lung cancer. But only among current and ex-smokers. It appears to have no anti-cancer effects in people who have never smoked.
The new findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
If you exercise more than an hour day, or do so more vigorously than brisk walking, you cut your risk even further, the study found.
Dr. Steven Moore is lead author of the research. “The more activity, the more benefit,” he said. “As people did more, their risk continued to lower.”
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In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch
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