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Get Moving Now for Cancer Protection Later

Get Moving Now for Cancer Protection Later

Gentlemen, it's time to get up and get moving. Now, we're not asking you to give up your golf game in favor of running marathons to improve your health, but according to a study, it may be worth it to start taking more walks around the block. 

Researchers at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas—whose data collection spanned 20 years—evaluated data of more than 17,000 men who were placed on a treadmill regimen as part of their yearly health checkup. The cardiovascular fitness assessment consisted of walking at various speeds on different inclines, with the men split into five groups from most to least fit. 

Researchers from the University of Vermont then used Medicare data to identify the men who developed common cancers over the next 20-25 years. Compared to the least fit ones in the group, the men who were most fit in their 40s, 50s and 60s had a 68% lower risk of lung cancer, and a 38% lower risk of colorectal cancer decades down the road.

Not a tri-athlete? Not a problem. The study shows that even small improvements in fitness can help aid in cancer protection and lower your risk of disease. And even though the link between exercise and cancer prevention isn't conclusive, there's science that stacks up in favor of maintaining an exercise regimen as one of the best ways to prevent cancer. Ultimately, increased physical activity helps boost immunity and helps control weight, which can decrease inflammation and further guard against cancer cell growth.

Need help getting moving? Take a look at these easy exercises:

Whatever your preferred mode of workout, try and aim for roughly 20 minutes a day of moderate activity or a little over 10 minutes for more vigorous activity (Don’t have a lot of time? Try this mini workout).

The small steps you make now add to the giant leap you’re taking toward your future health.

Medically reviewed in May 2018.

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