How To Create a Cancer-Fighting Exercise Routine
The following is the second in a series of “Taking Control of Your Health, Body, Mind, and Spirit” blog articles by OHC’s Dr. John Sacco.
For years, we’ve heard about the importance of diet and exercise when it comes to involving and maintaining overall health. Now, more and more research studies say diet and exercise can reduce your cancer risk. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) recently released a study that shows a strong relationship between regular physical activity and reduced risk of developing 13 types of cancer. Exercise shows the greatest risk reductions for esophageal, uterine, liver, kidney, breast, and prostate cancers.
Here are a few recommendations for creating an exercise program for yourself or a loved one that can lower your risk of cancer:
- Build your program around regular aerobic activities: Guidelines show that we should do aerobic exercises four to five times per week for at least 30 minutes. This includes any physical activity that gets your heart rate working to 65-75 percent of its max. Brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and time on the elliptical machine or stair climber are all great ways to get aerobic exercise on a regular basis.
- Incorporate resistance training into your routine: One aspect of exercise that is overlooked in many studies is the importance of including regular resistance training into your workout. As we age, we lose muscle mass and gain fat which can slow down our metabolism and produce inflammation associated with chronic diseases. I recommend engaging in resistance training two times per week. This can include training with weights, bands, and using your own body weight for exercises like squats, lunges, planks, and jumping jacks.
- Mix up your exercises so you don’t plateau: It’s easy to find an activity that we like and stick to it but that can make us plateau and stop burning the calories we need to stay healthy. By mixing up our exercises we confuse our muscles, which burns more calories and maximizes our efforts. Another way to mix up your exercise routine and prevent boredom is to exercise in a group or with family and friends. Having that extra accountability can help you establish and maintain a regular exercise program.
Before you begin any exercise program, it’s important to consult your physician. A healthy plant-based diet should be combined with your exercise program to minimize your cancer risks.
To learn more about reducing your risk of cancer or OHC’s cancer treatments, please browse our website and download our patient newsletters. Or call us toll-free at 1-844-424-6673.