Studies Show Correlation Between Cancer and Physical Fitness

Today, I’m pleased to welcome my first guest blogger!

David Haas of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance has been kind enough to share his knowledge about the correlation between cancer and fitness. I feel information about cancer treatments and prevention are important, as cancer has taken loved ones from my family. Below is David’s article.

Thanks, David!

Studies Show Correlation Between Cancer and Physical Fitness

The pioneers on the plains worked hard. Both men and women walked, ran, lifted, stooped and worked their whole bodies. They were healthier for the exercise. But it wasn’t until scientists began exploring the balance of health and physical fitness through different studies that the correlation became clear to the scientific community. They backed up with science what most already knew, exercise was good for body and mind. Keeping physically fit also kept the body from easily succumbing to disease.

According to “Physical Activity and Cancer,” a fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute, physical activity has to do with the use of the muscles to move the body. This is a vital component that influences overall health and the risk of cancer.

While the proof was out that keeping physically fit was good, in fact, essential to those who were healthy, a different thought pattern governed those who were ill. They were often told to take it easy, relax and not do too much. As more and more studies come out on different cancers, the idea of taking it easy has been exploded as a myth. The studies, instead, reveal that physical exercise aids not only in preventing cancer, but also in a better outcome when cancer has been detected. Keeping physically fit helps those who been successfully treated to stay in remission.

Walking, jogging or cycling forces the blood to circulate and keeps the bones, joints and muscles from deteriorating. While it is a tendency not to want to move around when dealing with a chronic illness such as breast cancer or mesothelioma, doing so wakes up both mind and body. Exercise makes individuals, even those dealing with cancer, feel more alert.

Keeping physically fit aids in weight control and reduces the risk of high blood pressure. Inactivity is hard on the heart. It adds stress on a body already fighting both the debilitating problems of the cancer itself and the treatment, including mesothelioma treatment. Committing to being as active as the cancer situation allows, promotes heart health and a healthy heart gives the body more of a chance to fight the cancer.

David Batty and Inger Thune, both epidemiologists, reviewed the scientific evidence and, in an editorial for the British Medical Journal, found that exercise offered some very real cancer-protective elements. Physical fitness benefited energy balance, immune functions, cardiovascular and pulmonary capacity, bowel motility, hormone levels, antioxidant defense and even DNA repair.

Today the American Cancer Society recommends an active lifestyle as a way to reduce the risk of cancer and of aiding those who are dealing with this disease. Exercise also lifts the spirits and provides a better outlook on life that aids in the fight for health.

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