How Exercise Helps Prevent Breast Cancer

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, studies have shown that engaging in physical activity can help lower the risk of breast cancer in women. Researchers believe physical activity plays an integral role in women maintaining a healthy weight, which helps prevent obesity, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. All of these factors can ultimately help to reduce breast cancer risks. Physical activity can also aid in regulating important hormones, such as estrogen and insulin, which are known to increase the development and progression of breast cancer.

While studies suggest there is a link between exercise and risk of breast cancer, there is no official medical confirmation of this. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with timely cancer screenings, a healthy diet and weight, and regular exercise are all known to help decrease general health risks.


How much exercise do women need?

Most adult women should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. That’s only about 22 minutes and 11 minutes per day, respectively). More vigorous activity options can be more effective than less vigorous options. Moderate intensity activities include walking, biking, yoga, and general garden maintenance. Vigorous intensity activities include running, swimming, and most sports. In addition to these activities, you should also maintain a decent activity level throughout your daily routine, such as walking to your car or choosing to walk up a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator. Make a habit of choosing options in your day-to-day life that will support a healthy, active lifestyle. There is growing evidence that sitting can increase the risk of developing breast cancer, so exercise and overall increased activity level will be beneficial to your health. As always, before you start or increase your current exercise routine, you should check with your primary care physician to ensure proper safety and care.