Although few would question the benefits of exercise—it can be understandably hard to be successful in following an exercise regime. Is your motivation slacking? Researchers at the Institut Gustave Roussy in France have perhaps given us one of the greatest reasons to exercise yet. According to their study, 30 minutes of gentle exercise per day makes a woman ten percent less likely to develop breast cancer.
“Physical activity is thought to decrease a woman’s risk for breast cancer after menopause” says study author Dr. Fournier. She continues, “we found that recreational physical activity, even of modest intensity, seemed to have a rapid impact on breast cancer risk”.
Published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers followed nearly 60,000 post-menopausal women for twelve years. Although women of all ages can and are diagnosed with breast cancer, breast cancer is most prevalent in post-menopausal women. The women’s activity was measured in metabolic equivalent hours, METs—a number that takes into account both intensity and duration of exercise.
Researchers found that the benefits of exercise peaked at 12 METs. This is equivalent to:
• 4 hours a week of gentle, low intensity cardio such as walking
• 2 hours a week of medium intensity cardio such as cycling
Exercise, however, is not limited to strict terms—anything that raises your pulse counts such as vigorous housework or gardening.
Other Interesting Take-a-Ways
• Researchers found that exercising for longer or at a higher intensity did not further reduce the risk of breast cancer.
• The benefit was found only in women who exercised regularly over four years
• Persistence is key. Women who had once been active, but had stopped for five or more years ago were at the same risk for developing breast cancer as women who had never exercised.
• The findings were not affected by the participant’s weight—showing that benefits came from being active, not from weight loss.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Agnes Fournier concluded, “As a result, postmenopausal women who exercise should be encouraged to continue and those who do not exercise should consider starting because their risk of breast cancer may decrease rapidly”.
As an avid lover of exercise himself, Dr. Robinson encourages his patients to make exercise a part of their daily lives.
Still have questions? We would love to work with you! Please contact Indiana Plastic Surgery to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Robinson.