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Exercise and Physical Activity Fight Cancer

exercise and physical activity fight cancerThis is a guest post by Leroy Templeton

It isn’t necessarily a revelation to say that exercise and physical activity have many benefits to your health. In fact, one could argue that it is fairly safe to say that the benefits of working out have been fairly well documented over the years. Whether it is the benefits of activity on weight loss, cardiovascular health, or mental health, people know that working out is important to maintain health. But recent findings are now showing that we may not have known all the previous benefits: could exercise fight cancer?

As more and more research funnels in, it is clear that exercise and cancer are not unrelated. This is due in large part to the managing of important body chemicals that are inherent in exercise and physical activity. Working out and other physical activities have been shown to manage levels of insulin, prostaglandins, and bile acid among others. These chemicals, when out of their natural equilibrium, can promote the development of many cancers including gastric cancer, testicular mesothelioma, and pancreatic cancer. Improved respiratory function is one of the major benefits of regular exercise. This allows you to run faster, keeps you heart rate down, and improves oxygen intake to the bloodstream. It also helps prevent respiratory cancers such as papillary mesothelioma and lung cancer.

With all the benefits it offers, exercise should not be viewed as beneficial to only those who are looking to prevent cancer; those already affected by the illness can help speed up their recovery as well. It may seem intimidating, but those with cancer can see many benefits from light workouts and exercise. As exercise has been known to increase serotonin levels, it can improve the outlook of those cancer patients. Also, as the Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity recently found in a study they conducted, breast cancer patients who experienced light exercise saw body fitness as well as improved levels of strength, self-esteem, and fitness. The exercise also helped with chemotherapy success.

Exercise has definitely shown its value in the fight against cancer; however it is always important to listen to your doctor’s orders. As every individual case is different, if a doctor suggests you conserve your energy, it is most likely the correct course of action to take. As more benefits from exercise are made known, it is important to spread awareness for how this can help in the fight against cancer. Hey, there’s no harm in it; at worst you’ll at least be in better shape come swimsuit season.