If you are like me you want to be around to enjoy your kids and grandkids as long as you can.
Two of the most common cancers in women are breast and endrometrial cancer. These are hormonally caused cancers that are caused by hormones going awry. Exercise can help with these 'female' cancers because physical activity has been shown to regulate and calm the production, metabolism and elimination of these toxins.
Studies have also shown that there is a relationship between being fatter and breast and endometrial cancer. Exercise obviously can help you lose weight so you do not become more susceptible to developing these hormonally based cancers.
This past fall, the American College of Sports Medicine published a study done in Canada that compared the activity patterns of 1,233 women who had breast cancer and 1,237 who did not have the disease. The study compared their exercise patterns over a lifetime as well as looked at how diet, alcohol and tobacco use and hereditary factors may have played into the development of cancer.
The Canadian found that the women who were least likely to develop breast cancer engaged in the moderate exercise of doing daily household or farming chores. Researchers concluded that it was not so much the intensity of the exercise that was helping, but rather the regularity of it.
In 2009 a massive study, based on questionnaires given to 121,701 women over twenty years from the ages 30 to 55 was conducted by the Nurses Health Study at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston. This study found that women who worked out between two to four hours a week reduced their chances of getting cancer by twenty percent. A smaller but similar study done in Norway in 1997 found the same thing. Women who exercised four hours a week were about one third less likely to get breast cancer.
In the Brigham study it was noted that the exercise reduces the level of circulating estrogens in a woman's body. The reason that this is negative is because estrogen stimulates the growth of breast cells which could mutate and cause cancer.
Women are actually vulnerable to these types of cancers their entire life. The most important thing is to exercise in moderation because if you exercise to the point that you have minimized your estrogen levels you can increase your risk of bone loss and heart disease.
Menopausal and post-menopausal women are at particular risk for cancer because they are overproducing and under producing hormones. Exercise has protective benefits for hormonal women because it helps to reduce fat and after menopause estrogen is produced in the fat cells instead of the ovaries.
The idea is that the leaner you are, the less natural estrogens you will produce. The less estrogens that are in the body, the less of a welcoming field your changing body will be to developing cancer.
You do not have to work out like a female fitness model. Simple, yet sustained activity is best. Try walking or cycling. As long as you working out consistently and every day you should be giving your body the edge when it comes to preventing breast or ovarian cancer.