If you need another reason for working out – it helps avoid and survive cancer.

A recent study has come out that has concluded that even a little exercise may help people avoid and survive many types of cancer. The study helped to support recently issued guidelines by the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Cancer Society and 15 other international organizations. 

I have written and preached about the benefits of exercise – it helps with stress, it helps energy, and helps to keep you happy and healthy. Now there is the added benefit that exercise – even a little bit of it – will help you avoid (and if you have had it, then survive) cancer. 

Previously, there was a thought that exercise might be unsafe for people with cancer; the thought was that it might make the condition worse. However, that myth has recently been debunked. Not only have the studies been, thorough and extensive, but the conclusions have been uniform. They have concluded that there is more than enough evidence to conclude that exercise should be a part of standard treatment for most people with cancer. They also found that exercise should be considered a means to substantially drop the risk of developing cancer in the first place.

In a couple of studies, the conclusion was that physically active people have as much as 69 percent less risk of being diagnosed with certain cancers than sedentary people. The new recommendations conclude that exercise seems to be especially effective at lessening the likelihood of developing colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophageal and stomach cancers. Exercise also seems to lessen cancer patients’ feelings of anxiety or depression and associated debilitating fatigue.

Based upon their research, the authors of the new recommendations conclude that people with cancer should aim to exercise at least three times per week at a moderate intensity, such as brisk walking, for at least 30 minutes, and also try to lift weights twice a week at least, if possible. These recommendations are a bit lighter than the standard, governmental guidelines for the general public, which call for moderate aerobic exercise five times per week, plus several sessions of weight training.