Obesity Increases risk of cancer, likewise… fitness decreases risk
According to a study in JAMA Oncology from researchers at The University of Vermont, found a correlation between higher cardiorespiratory fitness, and lower incidence of cancer. The cancers that were reviewed in this study were prostate, colorectal (colon is most prevalent in this category), and lung.
Before going any further, I want to point out that there are a significant number of studies that relate lung and colorectal cancers to lifestyle choices. Less that do the same for prostate, but nonetheless, you should not be surprised by the results of this study.
The study points out that men with better CRF (cardiorespiratory fitness) who did develop these cancers, were less likely to die from the cancer as well. Concluding that regular exercise is continuing to be supported as very important to cardiovascular health, which continues to be shown as important for overall health, or as I would say in this case, immune health.
“This is important because more and more data is coming out that regular exercise is important to prevent cancer,” said Dr. Dale Shepard, an oncologist at Cleveland Clinic who did not take part in the study.
Since previous research has found sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of cancer, Shepard emphasized the importance of good heart health and recommended eating a heart-healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a normal weight to decrease cancer risk.
“What that means is if you have a job where you sit all day long, we’re finding that even if you exercise for an hour or so afterward, you still have risk,” Shepard said. “So really, you have to think about both things – being active but not being inactive.”
Tying the sedentary lifestyle back in to the risk, is a huge step for Dr. Shepard. He correctly refers to prior research that shows that when calculating risk, you don’t just limit the risk because of the exercise, you still increase the risk because of the 8 hours of sitting prior to that. My response for you is not to quit your job, though it might make sense anyways. But to find ways to increase your activity in your job.
I am a huge fan of the stand up desk. This is a great option with great reviews to get it started –
be sure to consider your ergonomics, height of the monitor, and the keyboard. In addition, make regular changes from your desk to some other movement. Research shows that moving more often, makes you more productive than if you stay put in an attempt to be more productive.
I Don’t Have Time to Exercise
The number one reason individuals stop pursuing improvement in CRF through exercise, is time. Well, you don’t have that excuse with my workout recommendations. From 5-25 minutes is all you need, 4-5 times a week, and you will become fit. Extremely fit if you escalate your intensity over time. Just review these WORKOUT OF THE WEEK options, and jump in.
Actually, if you are a runner (and I mean this in the most offensive way possible), and have forsaken all other fitness modalities, then you need to do this too. You should read the truth about endurance exercise first from Dr. Mercola, then consider fixing the long endurance issue with some short boughts. For those of you who are not runners, but you fall into the classification of people “who like to run”, then that means you still do more than just run for fitness. Good job.
Oh, the same goes for you cyclists. I have never watched the winners of the Tour De France spraying champagne all over the podium and thought, “Boy they have an incredible physique”. But I have surely thought “look at the ridiculous lack of proportion from their thighs to their bi’s”. Lean muscle mass has also been implicated in longevity. Mark’s Daily Apple summed that up pretty well in this article – Lean Muscle
So the long and short of it – you will reduce your cancer risk if you improve CRF. You can do it better in an average of 10 minutes a day than an hour. And you better get up from that desk you are sitting at.
Be well and Be blessed – Dr. E