Exercise & Breast Cancer

Exercise & Breast Cancer
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How many minutes a day of moderately intense exercise is necessary to significantly decrease breast cancer risk?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

We’ve known that physical activity can reduce breast cancer risk, and appears to work especially well at preventing estrogen-receptive negative tumors—the hardest ones to treat. But only last year did we figure out how much exercise was needed.

We’ve known that light exercise doesn’t work—like a leisurely stroll appears useless for preventing breast cancer. And we’ve known that fewer than ten minutes a day of even good exercise doesn’t work, either. How many minutes of moderately intense exercise—hiking, biking, swimming, aerobics—or even just fast walking—does one need, on average, every day, to significantly decrease breast cancer risk? Less than 10 minutes doesn’t work. But how about a full 10? 15? 30? 45? Or a full hour a day?

Well, it’s not 10. It’s not 45. And it’s not 15. We need an hour of exercise every day. Darwin was right: it’s survival of the fittest, so let’s get fit!

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to URLgoeshere via flickr

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

We’ve known that physical activity can reduce breast cancer risk, and appears to work especially well at preventing estrogen-receptive negative tumors—the hardest ones to treat. But only last year did we figure out how much exercise was needed.

We’ve known that light exercise doesn’t work—like a leisurely stroll appears useless for preventing breast cancer. And we’ve known that fewer than ten minutes a day of even good exercise doesn’t work, either. How many minutes of moderately intense exercise—hiking, biking, swimming, aerobics—or even just fast walking—does one need, on average, every day, to significantly decrease breast cancer risk? Less than 10 minutes doesn’t work. But how about a full 10? 15? 30? 45? Or a full hour a day?

Well, it’s not 10. It’s not 45. And it’s not 15. We need an hour of exercise every day. Darwin was right: it’s survival of the fittest, so let’s get fit!

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to URLgoeshere via flickr

Doctor's Note

Check out these videos on breast cancer risk:
Can Flax Seeds Help Prevent Breast Cancer?
BRCA Breast Cancer Genes & Soy
Breast Cancer & Constipation
Cholesterol Feeds Breast Cancer Cells
Statin Cholesterol Drugs & Invasive Breast Cancer

And check out my other videos on breast cancer

For more context, also see my associated blog posts: Breast Cancer & DietTreadmill Desks: Stand Up For Health; and Mushrooms for Breast Cancer Prevention.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

10 responses to “Exercise & Breast Cancer

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    1. As mentioned in the video, fast-walking, hiking, & biking are all forms of moderately intense activity, as well as light jogging and leisurely swimming. A good indication that you are working out at a moderate level is a noticeable increase in heart & breathing rates – you should be able to talk, but you shouldn’t be able to sing. Regular exercise is definitely beneficial for both the body and mind!(see http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/reversing-cognitive-decline

  1. shoot–bad news for me. Will try to do better! As a teacher, I often work till 7:00 pm. Breast cancer is in my maternal side-mom (passed form it) her sister and her daughter (my cousin) -survived, but cousin ended up with liver cancer later that took her. Made the switch to plant based eating—Food for thought here….Maybe time to actually use my elliptical machine!

  2. Two of the best exercise methods require much less than 60 minutes: For optimal strength, muscle, & bone health, an HIT session can be completed in 20 minutes. For conditioning & fat loss, a Tabata workout is over in 4 minutes. Anything more is counterproductive.

    1. I am not a medical professional (although actually most of them don’t know this kind of stuff anyway!), just a health nut who reads a lot. But from what I gather, it works via various mechanisms. Exercise results in lower levels of circulating hormones, so it reduces risk of the hormone-driven cancers. I’m not sure if the hormone levels are reduced because they’re excreted faster or sweated out, or if your body makes less of them, or what, but they’re lower. Exercise also increases telomere length, which reduces the chance of DNA mutating in the first place. Plus sweat releases toxins from the body, so they’re not in you to cause cancer. Exercise also increases glucose uptake by muscles, which lowers levels in your blood, which deprives any growing tumors of a food source. There might be other ways it works, too.

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