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  • Writer's pictureTo Your Health Editorial Staff

Prevent Cancer in 5 Hours

We're talking about five hours a week of physical activity, and data continues to support recommendations to engage in at least that much to make a significant dent in your cancer risk, particularly certain cancers.

In fact, a new study suggests more than 45,000 cancers a year could be prevented by meeting the five-hour recommendation every week.

Published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the study found that 3 percent of all cancer cases diagnosed in U.S. adults ages 30 and older over a four-year period were caused by physical inactivity, with more than double the amount of women diagnosed as men. In terms of specific cancers diagnosed based on physical inactivity, 16.9 percent of stomach cancers, 11.9 percent of endometrial cancers, 11.0 percent of kidney cancers, 9.3 percent of colon cancers, 8.1 percent of esophageal cancers, 6.5 percent of female breast cancers, and 3.9 percent of urinary bladder cancers were associated with lack of exercise.

The type of physical activity matters when it comes to meeting the five-hour-a-week recommendation; it should be at least the moderate-intensity variety, such as brisk walking (pace: approximately 15 minutes per mile), dancing, riding a bike, swimming, playing basketball / volleyball / etc., jumping rope, etc. – activities that get your heart pumping and work up a sweat. If you're having trouble making the five-hour mark, ask yourself this simple question: Is it worth the risk not to find the time / energy?

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