Can Fitness Prevent Cancer and Other Diseases?
Here’s a word: “Exercise.” When you read that word, what is your response? Is it a happy word that makes you think of having fun with friends or getting away from everything while you enjoy a long run? Or is it a word you dislike because it makes you think of being in pain, sweating, or simply doing something you don’t like?
If you like the word you’re probably engaging in exercise to one degree or another. We’ll get to what is the best type of exercise for you a little later, but let’s first address those who had a negative response to the word.
Let’s try a different word: “Fitness.” Maybe the connotation with that word isn’t as bad. For the purposes of this blog we’ll use “fitness” to mean a body that is easily able to perform all activities needed on a daily basis including lifting heavier items (not too heavy), while having a healthy muscle to fat ratio.
Even if you hate exercise, it doesn’t mean you can’t be physically fit. There are several important reasons to address fitness. Here are a few:
1. You’re less likely to get injured. You need enough muscle strength to make it through activities of daily living without being at risk of injury.
2. You’ll build muscle which is important from two perspectives:
– Muscle burns more calories than fat, keeping you slimmer
– Muscle creates more muscle, while fat creates more fat. Basically the body is either gaining more muscle or gaining more fat, it’s never stagnant.
Note: If you want to know your fat vs muscle percentage, we have a fast, painless test here at the clinic that is very inexpensive: it’s called a BIA test and it only takes a few minutes to perform.
3. Fitness is good for your heart. Exercise improves circulation of not only your blood, but the cells of your immune system. It also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
4. Fitness reduces cancer risk. A study revealed physically active men and women to have a 30-40% reduction in risk for developing colon cancer compared to inactive individuals.
Other studies note programmed cell death of cancer cells is triggered by exercise. That’s a good thing to think about when you’re pushing yourself to exercise!
Exercise lowers insulin and controlling insulin levels is a powerful way to reduce your cancer risk.
5. It strengthens your bones. We have a vibration platform here at HealthNOW Physical Therapy that helps to build bone strength while you exercise.
6. Fitness helps to burn calories faster. A number of studies have linked obesity to an increased risk for about a dozen different cancers, including cancer of the colon.
A 2014 study analyzed data from more than 5 million people over the age of 16. For every 11-pound increase in body weight there was an increased risk for 10 different types of cancer. If you’re overweight or obese, even small amounts of weight loss can lead to significant benefits for your health. In terms of cancer prevention, losing excess belly fat is particularly important, as belly fat is linked to an increased risk of not only cancer, but heart disease and diabetes, regardless of your body weight.
Hint: If you want to burn calories faster throughout the entire day, exercise in the morning, rather than later in the day. For fat burning, there is no better time to exercise than first thing in the morning.
7. Helps stabilize mood through elevating endorphins. Exercise lessens symptoms of anxiety and depression.
8. Fitness increases your energy level.
The list of benefits is pretty nice, huh? Are you still thinking “exercise = yuck”? You’re in good company. 37% of adults report they are not physically active and only 3 in 10 adults get the recommended amount of physical activity.
More than 10% of children between the ages of 2 and 5 are overweight. In fact, 25% of U.S. children spend 4 hours or more watching television daily.
The percentage of students in high school who engaged in moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more of the previous 7 days was only 25%.
Just because there are many adults and children who don’t get enough exercise is not a license to do so yourself. We want you healthy and healthy = fit.
We have a great solution for you!
Fitness evaluations and individualized custom-made fitness programs are offered here at HealthNOW. Our doctor of Physical Therapy will evaluate you to decide the best program and then our highly trained Physical Therapy staff will deliver your program.
We have had great success with this approach whether you are new to exercise and a little nervous about beginning or if you’re a veteran and very active. It’s tailored to you and directed by a doctor. You’ll be supported to reach your next level of fitness, and then your next and your next, until you can’t believe how great you feel!
Give us a call to schedule your Fitness Evaluation with Dr Rupa – call 408-733-0400.
To your fabulous health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”