A recent landmark study has woken up the scientific community to the incredible effect that exercise has on the body’s ability to fight cancer.
The study compared the blood taken from adult males of average health, both before and after exercise. The blood was spun down into a serum, which was then poured over prostate cancer cells to see the effects.
Incredibly, after 60 minutes of bicycle riding the bloods ability to fight cancer cell growth had increase by 31%.
This small but important study follows the finding of many others that have shown exercise to be a useful tool in the fight against tumor growth.
The beneficial effect of exercise on breast, endometrial and colon cancer has been well documented for some time. Now a growing pool of evidence suggests that a daily workout can help in the fight against many other kinds of cancer as well.
In June 2016 the largest study on the effects of exercise on cancer growth ever performed was published. The pooling study took the data from a dozen previous studies from the US and Europe, and combined them to form a single, massive data set.
With over 1.44 million participants the study showed that higher levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity is associated with lower levels of 13 different types of cancer. These include the aforementioned 3 types (breast, endometrial and colon) and:
- Head and Neck
- Myeloid Leukemia
- Esophageal Adenocarcinoma
- Gastric Cardia
The majority of these effects were found regardless of body size or smoking history, supporting broad generalizability of the findings.
“It is important that cancer patients are informed of this groundbreaking information not just during rehabilitation but also during therapy,” said Exercise Physiologist Brendan McCann of Livewell Rehab. “This knowledge will not only help patients in recovery and remission, but will also aid in preventing many of the cancers that we see in our patients on a daily basis.”
So how can you take on this information to better your own health?
The benefits of exercise in relation to general health and wellbeing are well documented. Now we also know that daily physical activity also helps your body’s own abilities to fight off cancer. With this information in hand there’s really no excuse not to make some extra time each day to get off the couch and workout.
The longer and more vigorously you exercise the better, but even just a short jog, cycle or swim is better than nothing. Not only will you burn fat, build confidence and feel more alive, you’ll also be turning your own blood into a cancer-fighting superfluid.