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Strategy 2, Get Moving: Lifestyle Strategies to Combat and Prevent Breast Cancer

Every day during the month of October, breast cancer surivior and author Judy Fitzgerald will provide simple strategies to prevent or combat the disease.

October 2 – Strategy 2 – Pack Your Sneakers & Get Moving

 
Today’s tip is also a simple one but requires more motivation.  Now that you’ve brought your lemon/lime water bottle to work or prepared it to enjoy during the day at home like I do, get your sneakers or comfortable walking shoes on.  Exercise is something that can become an enjoyable habit, especially if you recruit a walking buddy.  I recruited my husband and it’s a time in the
day when we’re not distracted by the television or cell phones. Walking is the simplest form of exercise and one that can be achieved anywhere.

One thing that’s helpful is the purchase of an inexpensive pedometer. It’s fun to keep track of progress and is a great motivational tool. Aim for 10,000 steps per day or 30 minutes of brisk walking.  No need for expensive gym memberships, although going to the gym would be an excellent choice, but walking is cheap,easy and effective.

According to the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project for example, (many studies are available on the internet on this topic), statistics show that walking three hours per week, or a half hour per day, improves breast cancer survival rates by as much as 50% and reduces risk of developing the disease by 30%. This is an easy goal to achieve, and matches the minimum exercise levels recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Walking for a half hour per day will also reduce risks for other cancers, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

According to cancer.gov:

Researchers have established that regular physical activity can improve health by:

Helping to control weight

Maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and joints

Reducing the risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes

Promoting psychological well-being

Reducing the risk of death from heart disease

Reducing the risk of premature death

Guidelines recommend working up to a “brisk walk” which equates to 3-4 miles per hour.  Of course walking outside is preferred, not only for esthetic reasons, but to take advantage of health benefits of the vitamin D gained from sunshine.  When the weather is bad, create an indoor path in your home.  This is when a pedometer is especially helpful for measuring progress, distance and maintaining
motivation.

Reminder: go to www.sisters4prevention.com  throughout the month of October for a complete list of all tips as we progress. For true prevention…support the Pink Vaccine, the first preventive breast cancer vaccine.  For more information visit: www.thepinkvaccine.com.  YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QffAJmyALb0

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Still Hope October 04, 2012 at 12:51 AM
This, in my opinion, is the number 1 prevention and readiness measure you can take for cancer, especially breast cancer. However, I would add that walking isn't enough, though it is a nice start. In order to be healthy and lower your cancer risk, you need to exert yourself regularly. It's proven that overproduction of estrogen is a key component in facilitating breast cancer. Hence why females get it disproportionately to men. Heavy physical activity gets the blood pumping and regulates hormones, suppressing overproduction of estrogen, thus inhibiting cancer growth in the female areas. The other side effect of physical activity is the general health benefit. So in the unfortunate case that you find cancerous cells, treatment will go so much smoother in a healthy body. That's the difference from being a victim and being a strong survivor. Join a team, mow the lawn, either way get moving. Don't be a cancer incubator.
Judy Fitzgerald October 04, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Totally agree. The message is get moving, the more you do the better. Walking is just an easy thing to get started with. Kudos to you if you do more. Thanks for the comment.

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