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Working Up a Good Sweat Lowers Risk

Six or more hours of strenuous exercise per week can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Feb 21, 2007.This article is archived
We archive older articles so you can still read about past studies that led to today's standard of care.
A study adds to the growing amount of information on the role exercise can play in staying healthy. The link between exercise and cardiovascular health has been documented in many studies. The link between exercise and a reduction in breast cancer risk is less clear but no less important.
In this study:
  • Women had to do SIX or more hours of STRENUOUS exercise each week to reduce their risk of breast cancer. This probably means that this amount and type of exercise needs to planned as part of your weekly routine. Casual walking a couple times a week probably isn't enough. The amount and level of exercise sounds like a lot, and it is. Still, the trick is to find a routine that works with your schedule, then stick with it. Make sure you like the exercise you're doing and the place you do it. For example, if you don't like gyms or being around people, then a group exercise class probably isn't for you.
  • Reduced breast cancer risk was seen no matter when in her life a woman started her exercise routine. It's NEVER too late to start exercising.
  • Women who had a family history of breast cancer did not seem to benefit from the protective effects of strenuous exercise. But it's very likely that these women got other health benefits from exercise.
To learn more about the role of exercise and a healthy lifestyle in lowering your risk of breast cancer visit the Breast Cancer Risk Factors: What You Can Do to Lower Risk section.

— Last updated on February 22, 2022, 10:07 PM

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