Aside from helping you maintain a healthy weight, the results of a study have shown that regular exercise -- in particular, aerobic exercise -- can lower your risk of about 13 different types of cancer. The study was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Many studies have already concluded that a sedentary lifestyle isn't good for your well-being. These also include physical inactivity as a risk factor for chronic conditions such as diabetes. Likewise, studies have also shown that exercising regularly can help improve your physical, mental, and emotional health. Aerobic exercise, in particular, is a popular way of staying in shape. Because of this study, researchers now have conclusive proof that regular aerobic exercise is also associated with a reduced risk of various types of cancer.
Dr. Steven Moore of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, led the study. His team reviewed the data of 1.4 million individuals in total. In the study of pooled data, they found that that greater levels of physical activity and aerobic exercise can significantly reduce cancer risk for about least 13 specific cancer types.
For this study, researchers analyzed the medical histories and outcomes of almost 1.5 million Americans and Europeans. The findings revealed that incidents of 13 of the 26 cancers considered in the study went down by at least 10 to 42 percent. The researchers noted that the high end of this percentage range was linked to people who exercised the most. These individuals took part in aerobic exercises such as jogging, running, strolling, and walking. (Related: When weighing all the factors, experts say leading a healthy lifestyle is your best bet against cancer.)
The participants who exercised more frequently had a 27 percent drop in liver cancer risk, along with a 42 percent drop in esophageal cancer risk. The researchers determined that regular physical activity was also associated with a 20 to 26 percent drop in endometrial, kidney, lung, and stomach cancer risk, along with reduced myeloid leukemia risk. The team of scientists also reported a cancer risk reduction of 13 to 17 percent for myeloma, together with bladder, colon, head and neck, and rectal cancer. Additionally, breast cancer risk went down by about 10 percent in people who exercised frequently. The findings also suggest that regular aerobic exercise can help reduce the risk of health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.
The researchers noted that being active can help extend life expectancy overall. The results of the study imply that regular physical exercise correlates with better health. In fact, even walking for less than 30 minutes every day can help reduce lower the risk for many diseases, especially cancer. Regular physical activity can also increase longevity and life span by at least seven years.
If you're not sure what kind of aerobic exercise to try, here are some fun options to consider:
The next time you think you're too busy to exercise, remember this: working out for only 20 minutes per day can offer many health benefits. By setting aside less than one hour of your time daily, you can boost your overall health, and even lower your cancer risk.