Adding Up the Benefits of Exercise for Breast Cancer

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: