Exercise isn’t just beneficial for dieters and fitness fanatics – it’s absolutely essential for maintaining a healthy, disease-free body too.
In fact, scientists recently found that if women with a healthy weight in the UK did just 38 minutes of physical activity a day, 44% of womb cancer cases could be prevented.
The study was carried out by The World Cancer Research Fund as part of the Continuous Update Project. The findings reveal that around 3,7000 cases could be prevented each year.
Despite the clear health benefits of regular exercise, only 36% of women in the UK are active for a minimum of 30 minutes a day five days a week.
Perhaps even more concerning, only 39% are considered to be a healthy weight.
Womb cancer is more common in women over the age of 60, and the most common kind is known as endometrial, called so because it affects the womb lining. This is the fourth most common cancer affecting females in the UK.
Doctor Elisa Bandera, a CUP panel member and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Rutgers Cancer Institute in the United States, said: “A significant proportion of cases could be prevented every year by maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.”
Fellow panel member Hilary Powers added that it’s not just down to the individual to make the changes, the government too can do things to help encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles.
As part of the study, scientists at imperial College London collected and analysed all of the available scientific research on womb cancer in relation to womens’ diets, exercise habits and body weight. This is the first global review since 2007.
Once the data had been analysed, experts estimated that around 44% of cases in the UK could be prevented with some simple lifestyle changes.
So what is the link between body weight and cancer? Scientists believe there are several reasons, one being that fat cells release certain hormones known to raise the risk of developing some cancers.
Regular exercise helps to keep hormone levels balanced while strengthening the immune system and maintaining a smooth digestive system.
Karen Sadler, executive director of the World Cancer Research Fund, advises women to be as lean as possible without being underweight if they want to reduce their risk of developing cancer of the womb.
Getting out and exercising can be difficult for some people with busy lifestyles or those who simply dislike sport. However, there are so many forms of exercise to choose from and, as this study shows, walking briskly for just half an hour a day could dramatically improve your health.
Hypnotherapy can help those unwilling to exercise change their opinions and develop a healthier routine. A combination of relaxation techniques and verbal suggestion can plant positive ideas that turn into behaviours that really make a difference. To find out more about hypnotherapy, please visit our FAQ page.
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