How Regular Exercise Helps Prevent Cancer

Exercise has long been recognized to have multiple benefits to both physical and mental health, with cancer experts now stating that there is a definite link between regular exercise and cancer prevention. This is a great reason to start incorporating exercise into daily life and will also help to maintain a healthy weight.

How Exercise Helps Prevent Cancer

As a major risk factor for some forms of cancer is obesity, it is not hard to see why getting regular exercise goes a long way to helping reduce the risk of suffering from certain cancers. However, it is not just about obesity, with recent research studies undertaken by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) identifying that there is strong evidence to suggest that being physically active is a key factor in itself to cancer prevention.

Types of regular exercise recommended by the WCRF to help reduce the risk of suffering from certain cancers, include the following:

  • brisk walking
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • dancing
  • gardening

The ideal amount of exercise per day is a mere 45 minutes, making it possible for those who have always been less than keen to participate in exercise to fit it into their daily routine. If possible, try to leave the car at home and cycle or walk to work, which can help with both physical and mental health issues.

Prevent Breast and Bowel Cancer with Exercise


According to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), the two main types of cancer which exercise has been identified to help prevent include breast cancer and bowel cancer. Therefore anyone with a family history of either cancer will likely benefit from taking regular daily exercise. The WRCF highlight that by simply exercising each day, as many as 5,500 cases of breast cancer in the UK may be prevented. This is particularly important when one considers the enormous costs involved for the NHS to treat thousands of cancer patients when finances are already very strained due to the current difficult economic climate.

As highlighted above, regular exercise, such as just 45 minutes of brisk walking each day, will go a long way to helping prevent both breast cancer and bowel cancer. In addition, with obesity a major factor in cancer, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory problems, it is easy to see why regular exercise should be a priority for all of us. Exercise also helps with mental health problems, improving stress, anxiety, depression and eating disorders such as bulimia.

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