It’s no secret that exercise has countless benefits for your health and overall well-being, but did you know that a reduced risk of cancer might be one of them? Recent research suggests that high- and even moderate-intensity exercise may reduce your cancer risk by up to 72%.
Although it has long been known that exercise plays a role in cancer prevention, the specific ways in which it does that has not been well understood in the past. Researchers are now finding that exercise affects the metabolic pathways by creating extra demand for glucose on internal organs, redistributing glucose in a way that prevents it from being used by cancer cells. In a sense, exercise “starves” cancer cells of the energy they need to grow. There is also clear support for the hypothesis that exercise helps to create a hostile environment for tumors in ways beyond glucose reallocation, indicating that exercise is an important tool in protecting against metastatic tumor spread.
The study tracked the health data, including exercise activity as well as instances of new or recurring cancer, of 2734 people over 20 years. Participating in high-intensity activities like running showed the greatest reduction of cancer risk, with active study participants showing fewer instances of metastatic cancer than sedentary participants by more than 70%.
For those who can’t participate in high-intensity activity, don’t worry! Even moderate activity like brisk walking has been linked to a decreased cancer risk by up to 20%. Any consistent exercise, regardless of your fitness level, will significantly benefit your physical and mental health and can offer protection against a wide variety of illnesses and diseases, including cancer. Exercise is one of the most important factors in your overall wellness, and can help you not just look and feel your best, but can keep you healthier over the course of your lifetime.
Looking to start your wellness journey? Oceanside offers a variety of programs and treatments to help you get started on your way to your best and healthiest self.
Sheinboim, D. et al. “An Exercise-Induced Metabolic Shield in Distant Organs Blocks Cancer Progression and Metastatic Dissemination.” Cancer Research, Vol. 82, No. 22, Nov. 2022.