Are you aware of how little activity it takes to reduce your risk of breast cancer? More than 30 studies show that as few as three hours a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity can both reduce your risk for developing breast cancer and lower a chance of recurrence by as much as 40%. That's a great return on an investment of about 30 minutes a day.
You don't have to join a gym, run a marathon or buy fancy equipment. Power walking is more than sufficient! Think "activity" instead of "workout." Find opportunities to move.
Minutes add up: Build activity into your day. If you can't find 30 continuous minutes, just accumulate the total in smaller increments of 10 and 15 minute segments. Make every minute count – walk down the hall to speak with a colleague at work instead of emailing, walk or bike to work, use the stairs rather than the elevators. Put energy into every minute of movement.
Add steps to your day: Step up your level of activity. A pedometer, app or tracking device provides a good reality check and can motivate you to higher numbers. Experts recommend a goal of 10,000 steps a day which may seem miles away from your personal reality; but another advantage of the pedometer is that you can set your own goals. See how many steps you're currently accumulating during the course of your day and create a goal based on that. When you've reached the first goal, set another one, and continue to build, step by step. Tangible progress creates incentive and enhances self-esteem while you're building physical stamina.
Visit our previous blog posts for more information on exercise for breast cancer prevention and recovery:
- Continuing the Conversation on Breast Health
- Can Strength Training Prevent Lymphedema?
- SHARE Raises Breast Cancer Awareness