Exercise Your Way to a Lower Colon Cancer Risk

It’s no secret that exercise reduces your risk of heart and respiratory diseases.  But did you know that running, walking, playing tennis, swimming or whatever exercise you prefer can help prevent colon cancer?

Numerous studies indicate that regular exercise can reduce your risk of colon cancer by as much as 40 per cent.  One study at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston included the collection of data from more than 150,000 men and women over a period of three decades.  Researchers found that cancer of the colon or rectum was far less common among people who exercised for 30 minutes several times a week, compared to those who led a sedentary lifestyle.

Another study, this one at the University of Vermont, also concluded that exercise lowers the risk of colon cancer.  Researchers studied 17,000 middle age men and found that those who exercise regularly and kept their weight down were 38 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with the disease.

It’s unclear why exercise lowers the risk of colon cancer, but these two studies and many others indicate the connection is unmistakable.  Research also shows that cancer patients who exercise regularly are less likely to die from several types of the disease.

As we come to the end of March, designated as Colon Cancer Awareness Month, it’s vital to remember that nothing can eliminate the risk of coming down with the disease.  So, even if you live a physically active lifestyle, you shouldn’t run away from colonoscopies and other forms of colon cancer screenings.  They can lead to prevention and early detection of the disease and make it much more likely that your healthy lifestyle will continue for many years to come.

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