Browsing all articles tagged with physical activity
FIT
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National Cancer Institute Guidelines for Exercise

In June 2010 a panel of thirteen researchers who are cancer experts came up with guidelines for exercise for cancer patients and survivors.  The panel was formed to develop guidelines on exercise that were safe and effective. This is because there are currently over twelve million cancer survivors in the United States in need of advice!

 

 

Exercise is currently recommended for patients with breast, prostate, colon, gynecologic, and hematologic cancers, which pretty much covers all cancers.

 

 

The group was formed because the benefits of exercise were well documented for a number of cancers. In nearly all types of cancer, exercise was found to help with issues such as fatigue and physical functioning.  These are factors that can directly influence the quality of your life. The guidelines wren also formed because it was discovered that patients on chemo or radiation could actually accomplish a lot more than anyone ever thought.

 

 

This panel also found that exercise was absolutely essential for a person’s self esteem. This is especially true with individuals who have had surgery that alters their appearance. Activity can improve the person’s body image.  This is because changes in body composition are so typical with these types of cancers.  Gastrointestinal, head and neck cancers can cause severe body wasting and exercise can help survivors of this type of wasting get their sense of self back and just feel more confident.

 

 

breast cancer can cause weight gain. In these cases the exercise can be useful for losing the pounds (sometimes caused by the drugs that are prescribed.)  Breast cancer patients often need to build more body mass and lose some fat.

 

 

The idea that people undergoing chemo and radiation should be exercising rather than resting full time in bed is relatively new. At the NCI, which of course is a huge government operation, they are busy trying to figure out how physical activity can be integrated into cancer treatment and into the daily lives of survivors. Plans are also in the works for training professionals so that they can provide cancer-specific recovery. It is also being suggested that more exercise studios should be in hospitals and that mass workout sessions be part of oncology units. Investigations are also being made into the effectiveness of yoga and other gentler forms of exercise on cancer recovery.

 

 

There is no harm in making attempts to be fitter, whether that means taking a walk several times a week or going out to a gym to get some real training from a fitness professional. The idea is that once you do get our body in motion, you will start getting better; a fact that is being now well recognized by medical communities all over the world including the National Cancer Institute.

 

FIT
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Working Out Prevents Cancer in Women

Two of the most common cancers in women are breast and endometrial cancer. These are hormonally caused cancers that are caused by hormones going out of whack.  Exercise can help with these “female” cancers because physical activity has been shown to regulate and calm the production, metabolism and elimination of the toxins produced by female hormones running amok.

 

 

Studies have also shown that there is a relationship between being fatter and breast and endometrial cancer.  Exercise obviously can help you lose weight so you do not become more susceptible to developing these hormonally based cancers.

This past fall, a Canadian study found that the women who were least likely to develop breast cancer engaged in the moderate exercise of doing daily household or farming chores.  Researchers concluded that it was not so much the intensity of the exercise that was helping, but rather the regularity of it.

 

 

In 2009,  a massive study, based on questionnaires given to 121,701 women over twenty years was conducted by the Nurses Health Study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston. This study found that women who worked out between two to four hours a week reduced their chances of getting cancer by twenty percent.  A smaller but similar study done in Norway in 1997 found the same thing. Women who exercised four hours a week were about one third less likely to get breast cancer.

 

 

In the Brigham study it was noted that the exercise reduces the level of circulating estrogens in a woman’s body.  The reason that this is negative is because estrogen stimulates the growth of breast cells which could mutate and cause cancer.

 

 

Women are actually vulnerable to these types of cancers their entire life. The most important thing is to exercise in moderation because if you exercise to the point that you have minimized your estrogen levels you can increase your risk of bone loss and heart disease.

Menopausal and post-menopausal women are at particular risk for cancer because they are overproducing and under producing hormones. Exercise has protective benefits for hormonal women because it helps to reduce fat.

 

 

The idea is that the leaner you are, the less natural estrogens you will produce. The less estrogens that are in the body, the less of a welcoming field your changing body will be to developing cancer.

You do not have to work out like a female fitness model. Simple, yet sustained activity is best . Try walking or cycling. As long as you working out consistently and every day you should be giving your body the edge when it comes to preventing breast or ovarian cancer.