Exercise and Cancer

Angie Szumlinski
|
September 11, 2023
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These are two words you don’t generally see together but in a recent study, it was identified that vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VILPA) may decrease the incidence of cancer. Imagine, having something as simple as this in our toolbox to help prevent cancer! The study suggests that 3-4 minutes of VILPA may be a promising intervention for cancer prevention.

I should say the author also said this intervention may be helpful for individuals unable or unmotivated to exercise in their leisure time. Honestly, I know a lot of unmotivated people, we call them couch potatoes, but seriously 3-4 minutes a day? Who can’t tolerate that? Bottom line, non-exercising adults, the majority of the middle-aged population, are at an increased risk of developing cancers.

How about it? Willing to give it a try? The key is that the exercise you decide to use for your 3-4 minutes a day needs to be considered “vigorous.” What exactly is “vigorous” or also called “high-intensity” exercise? Per verywellfit, it is activity done with a large amount of effort, resulting in a substantially higher heart rate and rapid breathing. With this activity, exertion is considered hard to extremely hard, making it difficult to speak in full sentences. Activities like running, cycling, and singles tennis are usually classified as vigorous. Additional exercises include:

  • Racewalking
  • Hiking uphill
  • Cycling more than 10 miles per hour
  • Swimming fast or lap swimming
  • Dancing, fast dancing, and step aerobics
  • Strength training
  • Heavy gardening with digging
  • Shoveling heavy snow

So, pick your poison, remember it only hurts for 3-4 minutes a day and what doesn’t kill you may makes you stronger! Stay well and stay informed!


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