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Losing weight and exercising more are very popular New Year`s resolutions. It is commonly known that exercise has cardiovascular benefits, but there is another great reason to hop on that treadmill in 2013. Research has shown that women who exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight can decrease their risk of breast cancer. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who exercised 30 minutes per day (10-19 hours per week) experienced greater health benefits, with a 30% reduced risk of developing breast cancer, than inactive women who gained a significant amount of weight, particularly after menopause.

Regular exercise is crucial to reap these health benefits, but staying on track all year can be daunting. There are many ways you can become more active.

  • Try to incorporate simple changes such as taking the stairs or selecting a parking spot requiring you to walk further.
  • Other exercise options include: team sports, classes, joining a gym, investing in home exercise equipment, or aerobic activities, like walking, running and dancing. Before exercising, always begin with a warm-up that includes adequate stretching.

Follow this with 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity, and end your session with a cool down combined with more stretching. If you have a medical condition, you should speak with your healthcare provider prior to participating in any vigorous activity.

Stay healthy in 2013! Get moving and reduce your risk of developing breast cancer!

-Brenda Baumann, RN

(Resource: Cancer, online edition, June 21, 2012)

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