Get up, get moving, get physical!

Take a note from Olivia Newton John (maybe minus the 80’s workout outfit) and get physical! Research shows that any quantity of regular exercise is beneficial, with the frequency, intensity and consistency directly related to the benefits in reducing lifetime risk. Across several studies, there was up to a 25% lifetime risk reduction among physically active women compared to sedentary women. Sedentary behaviour—regularly sitting for long periods of time—has been independently associated with chronic disease-related risk factors such as central adiposity, insulin resistance and inflammation. These factors are thought to be linked to the development and progression of breast cancer.

Evidence shows that women who performed moderate to vigorous exercise that increases the heart rate for three to four hours per week (approximately 30 minutes per day) reduce their lifetime risk by 30 to 40 percent. This is because aerobic exercise influences the way our bodies break down estrogens to produce more of the good metabolites that lower breast cancer risk. Moderate physical activity should make you warmer and breathe harder, and make your heart beast faster. It’s also important to continue being active as you get older in order to continue reducing your lifetime risk!

Need some exercise inspo? Mix it up!

Changing your exercise routine and keeping things exciting will help you stay motivated to be active and actually challenge your body more. Additionally, inviting a friend along will not only make the activity more enjoyable, it will also help both of you feel more accountable. Here are some fun and different activities you can try to help spice up your exercise routine:

  • Yoga or pilates
  • Hike
  • Fitness classes like Zumba or kick-boxing
  • Learn the choreographed dance to your favourite song
  • Rock climb
  • Play in the park with your dog or kids
  • Try the latest workout craze like barre, surf-fitness or indoor obstacle courses
  • Toss a ball or play Frisbee
  • Sign up for a race and train to collect KMs
  • Bike to work
  • Snowshoe; cross-country ski; tobogganing
  • Try a fun run like the Colour Run or Electro Dash
  • Join a recreational sports league
  • Instead of meeting a friend for coffee or drinks, go for a power walk!

Whatever you do, make it work for you. Aim to increase your heart rate and sweat, sweat, sweat.

What you need to know:

  • Regular physical activity can reduce a woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer by up to 25%
  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise each day
  • Get active, and stay active. Make exercise a lifelong habit in order to reduce your lifetime risk most

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What else do you need to know about breast health? Read on…

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