Can exercise reduce cancer risk?

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You might exercise to lose weight or prevent heart disease, but did you know that exercise can also help to reduce your risk of certain types of cancer?

“Regular exercise is beneficial to your overall health. It reduces inflammation and can strengthen the immune system, and people who exercise regularly have higher levels of natural antioxidants,” said Linda Crews, a physical therapist with the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

A study with over 1.4 million participants conducted by the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute found exercise linked to lower risk of 13 types of cancer, including breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, liver, kidney and myeloid leukemia. Exercise has also been shown to help lower the rates of cancer reoccurrence after treatment has been completed.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, and strength training twice per week. Moderate aerobic exercise includes brisk walks, bicycling, gardening or mowing the lawn.

“Exercise is a part of a healthy lifestyle that can help to reduce your risk for many diseases,” said Crews. “Talk with your doctor or rehab specialist, and start small until you work your way up to your fitness goals.”

Need help starting your exercise program?

Speak with your doctor about a fitness program that works for you and contact Memorial Rehab Services to get physical therapy support as you work towards your fitness goals.

Physical Therapy at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Lincoln, IL
Physical Therapy at Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, IL
Physical Therapy at Passavant Area Hospital, Jacksonville, IL
Physical Therapy at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, Taylorville, IL

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