While we’re on the subject of lifesaving changes this week, I want to talk to you about exercise…
But before I lose you, listen up—the exercise I’m referring to today isn’t the kind that requires a fancy gym membership or professional equipment. No, I’m simply talking about the absolute bare minimum here.
Because that bare minimum could spare you a cancer death down the line. And if that doesn’t keep your attention, I don’t know what will…
Nearly double the risk of death
A recent study has linked being sedentary with a dramatic increase in cancer death risk—a perfect example of the phenomenon now known as “sitting disease.” But get this: It also found that even very light exercise—like a brief daily walk—could make all the difference.
The subjects of this research were participants in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study—which recruited more than 30,000 adults over the age of 44 between 2003 and 2007.
All participants wore accelerometers for activity monitoring for seven days straight. (This is important, because previous research has only relied on self-reports. And generally speaking, people are no more aware of the time they spend sitting than they are of how much they eat—needless to say, both are routinely underestimated.)
None of the subjects were undergoing cancer treatment at the beginning of the study. And the mean follow-up period was just over five years.
Ultimately, the subjects who died of cancer were sedentary for more minutes per day, and for longer stretches at a time. They also performed less physical activity of any kind—whether light, moderate, or vigorous.
(For reference, light physical activity covers activities like housework, shopping, and cooking—while moderate-to-vigorous activity includes more strenuous activities like brisk walking, running, and dancing.)
But here’s the important part: These researchers found that subjects who spent the most time sedentary were 82 percent more likely to die from cancer. Which means that simply getting up off of your couch more frequently could potentially cut your odds of cancer death… not by one percent, or even ten percent… but by 82 percent.
How’s that for a miracle intervention?
Every minute counts
In case you’re wondering whether sitting too much is really that dangerous, let me assure you—it is.
Even after adjusting for key factors like age and alcohol intake, researchers still found that the most sedentary subjects were 52 percent more likely to die of cancer—a huge increase in risk by any standard.
So, let me put this quite simply: For every hour that subjects spent being sedentary, their risk of dying from cancer increased 16 percent. Just consider that the next time you decide to binge watch another show on Netflix.
But now for the good news: When subjects swapped out just 30 minutes of sedentary time with 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, they lowered their risk of cancer death by 31 percent.
Meanwhile, 30 minutes of light physical activity lowered the risk by eight percent—not too shabby for simply washing dishes.
This excites me because there are a lot of people who don’t engage in physical activity for any variety of reasons—including simply not enjoying it. And you know what? That’s okay. I didn’t like exercise when I first started doing it, either. But now, I don’t go a day without it.
My point is that we all have to start somewhere. And luckily, any exercise can help benefit your health. All you need to do is set realistic goals that work for you.
Even in the days of COVID-19, we can all find ways to move around the house. Walk to the mailbox and back. Or climb stairs. Or do a little gardening. Whatever you do… just move!
Because truthfully, the list of activities you can do is practically endless… and so are the benefits.
P.S. Of course, exercise is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to simple things you can do to cut your risk of cancer. Join me this Sunday, July 26 at 3PM-EDT for my Disease-Fighting Masterclass. This can’t-miss event is for anyone concerned about any of the deadly diseases facing seniors—cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, or even arthritis. I’ll show you, start to finish, information for what to do in order to fight a diagnosis and win against disease. But hurry… space is limited for this LIVE event. Click here to reserve your spot today!
P.P.S. Exciting news! You can now follow me on Instagram: @DrFredNYC. On my Instagram page, I’ll share daily updates on all the latest breakthroughs in integrative and nutritional medicine—from COVID-19 to natural healing, clean eating, and so much more. So, don’t miss out! Follow me today—@DrFredNYC—for cutting-edge health information you can’t get anywhere else.
“Sitting and Risk for Cancer Death; Moving Even a Little Helps.” Medscape Medical News, 06/23/2020. (medscape.com/viewarticle/932771)