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Want to Prevent Cancer? Stay Physically Fit

by Richard A Reagan

With cancer becoming an increasingly common disease for many Americans, millions are doing everything they can to combat it. But one of the best ways to fight cancer is never to develop it in the first place. While in many cases that may not be possible due to genetic or environmental factors, there are nonetheless many things that people can do to reduce their risk of developing common cancers. One of those things is remaining physically fit.

It only stands to reason that those who remain physically fit would be in better shape to ward off a whole host of illnesses. But cancer? Researchers sought to determine whether it was in fact true that those who were in shape were at less risk of being diagnosed with cancer, and to what extent.

The results of a recent study of nearly 50,000 patients determined that those who were in the best physical shape were less likely to develop lung cancer and colorectal cancer, the top two leading causes of cancer deaths in the United States. And among those who were diagnosed with those cancers, those who were in the best physical shape before the diagnosis had higher survival rates. The study included women and both white and black people, and the findings held across all groups.

By now the numerous health benefits of exercise are or should be well known. From improved cardiovascular health, prevention of heart disease, and ability to combat diabetes, exercising and staying in shape is the easiest way to prevent a whole host of diseases and ailments that have come to characterize the aging process.

The older and the busier we get, the more difficult it can seem to find the time to exercise. But once you’re out of shape it can be more difficult to get back into shape. Even a half an hour of light exercise a few times a week can be enough to maintain your level of fitness and keep you from getting out of shape. With more and more benefits of exercise and physical fitness constantly coming to light, and medical expenses continuing to rise, few Americans can afford not to stay in shape.

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