By Kristen Horler, CEO & Founder of Baby Boot Camp www.babybootcamp.com
You probably already know that regular exercise is important for you both mentally and physically. The great news is that research now shows that exercise can reduce your risk of breast cancer too. Exercise not only improves quality of life, but it also helps breast cancer survivors lead a more active life by improving the ability to perform daily activities and reduce cancer-related fatigue. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to share some tips to help you reduce your risk of breast cancer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, breast cancer prevention begins with these lifestyle factors, some of which you have control over:
• Alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit it to one drink per day.
• Weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk, especially after menopause.
• Activity. Being physically active can help manage your weight (see above bullet point).
• Breastfeeding. The longer you breastfeed, the greater the protective effect.
• Hormones. Long-term combination hormone therapy increases your risk of breast cancer.
• Environment. Research suggests a link between breast cancer and exposure to vehicle exhaust and air pollution.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity as well as strength training at least twice a week. Consult your physician if you are just starting an exercise program and build gradually to prevent injury.
Stay active, eat whole fruits and vegetables and focus on prevention. For more information on exercise and breast cancer, visit these websites:
Kristen Horler is CEO and founder of Baby Boot Camp, offering prenatal and postpartum fitness and nutrition program for women. With over 12 years of professional fitness experience, Kristen is a continuing education provider for the American Council on Exercise, 2012 IDEA Health & Fitness Program Director of the Year Finalist, and author of Baby Boot Camp: The New Mom's 9-Minute Fitness Solution (Sterling 2010). For more information visit www.babybootcamp.com.