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physical activity

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Small Amounts of Alcohol Increase Risk of Breast Cancer

AICR estimates that one-third of breast cancers in the U.S. could be prevented!

Consuming just one glass of wine (or other alcoholic drink) a day increases the risk of breast cancer, the most common global cause of cancer in women! Excess body fat also increases the risk. Regular physical activity and breastfeeding decrease the risk. 

PositiveTip: Click on this link to view an intriguing infographic on how you, a loved one or friend, can lower the risk of breast cancer.

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How Exercise Contributes to Cancer Prevention

Exercise can lower the risk of developing cancer.

Exercise contributes many direct and indirect biochemical changes that help explain its anti-cancer benefits. A few of these include:

  1. Changes to cell-growth regulators.
  2. Stimulate proteins involved in DNA repair.
  3. Improves immunity, especially regular, moderate exercise.
  4. Helps reduce chronic inflammation.
  5. Contributes to weight management.
  6. Outdoor exercise can result in increased exposure to sunlight and vitamin D.

There are likely many other pathways as well. Learn more by reading this excellent summary.

PositiveTip: Choose to get moderate exercise almost everyday of the week to enhance your health and lower your risk of cancer.

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Exercise Lowers Depression in School Age Children

Increasing physical activity in grade school may reduce the incidence of depression.

Almost 800 children in Norway were assessed for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at ages 6, 8, and 10 years old. Researchers found those with higher levels of MVPA at 6 and 8 years old experienced fewer symptoms of depression 2 years later. Each hour of MVPA per day resulted in about 0.2 fewer depression symptoms, similar to the results obtained by psychosocial intervention programs.

PositiveTip: Encourage your schools to make certain each day includes time set aside for MVPA.

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Some Exercise Better than None

OA patients improve with 45 minutes of activity per week.

Study participants were placed in one of five quintiles of gait speed and function and followed for 2 years. Those engaging in 45 minutes a week or more of moderate to vigorous activity (highest quintile) saw significant improvement in knee and hip pain (34-38% better). These findings were independent of sex, BMI, and age. This is less stringent than the U.S. federal government recommendation of 150 minutes per week.

PositiveTip: If you have lower limb joint problems you should begin by engaging in 45+ minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise.

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Diabetics Should Get Up and Move!

Walking for 10 minutes after meals lowers post-meal blood glucose spikes.

In a newly released position statement, the American Diabetes Association says everyone who has diabetes or is at risk of it should get up and move their body as vigorously as they can! In addition to regular, daily physical activity, diabetics should aim to move around every 30 minutes to improve their blood glucose management. This excellent statement includes categories of exercise with benefits and safety guidelines.

PositiveTip: Get up and get moving is wise advice for everyone--including diabetics.

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Physical Inactivity Leads to Higher Cancer Risk

Aim for 30+ minutes of physical activity a day--in any way!

More than a quarter of adults in America age 50+ reported no physical activity outside of work during the past month--that is about 31 million people at higher risk for obesity, heart disease, and cancer. The largest demographic of inactive people was in the South. The American Institute for Cancer Research reports too much body fat increases the risk of 11 cancers.

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Sedentary Work Offset by One Hour of Daily Exercise

One hour of physical activity daily may offset the risk of sitting at work.

About an hour of moderate-intensity activity (i.e. brisk walking) can erase the increased death rate associated with sitting at work all day. More than 1 million men and women were included in a meta-analysis which found when the least active participants (5 min. per day of moderate activity) sat all day their death rate increased by 27% compared to those sitting less than 4 hours daily. Yet, among the most active individuals (60-75 minutes of daily activity) prolonged sitting was not associated with increased death rates.

PositiveTip: If your job requires sitting all day, be sure to get at least one hour of moderate intensity activity daily.

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Exercise First in Treating Fibromyalgia

EULAR downplays emphasis on medications for fibromyalgia.

Following a careful review of current evidence, a multidisciplinary group from 12 European countries, has unanimously endorsed the use of exercise as the first line of treatment for fibromyalgia. Exercise is very beneficial in pain management, and improves physical functioning and well-being--and is readily available, relatively low cost, and has few safety concerns. These new recommendations place lesser emphasis on medications.

PositiveChoices: Early diagnosis, good patient education, and the maintenance of physical activity increase the likelihood of good outcomes in fibromyalgia.

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Exercise Benefits Depression

Physical activity improved the quality of life in depressed patients.

A carefully designed, randomized, controlled 12-week study of 106 adults with nonpsychotic major depression with limited response to medication found both high- and low-dose aerobic exercise resulted in significant improvements in psychosocial functioning and quality o

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Keep Moving Every Day to Lower Cancer Risk

Leisure-time activity lowers the risk of 13 common types of cancer.

Results of 12 prospective U.S. and European cancer studies were pooled (1.44 million participants) to analyze the impact of high vs low physical activity levels. Leisure-time physical activity was associated with lower risks for 13 common cancers types. Most of these benefits were present regardless of body weight or smoking history (lung cancer excepted). Melanoma was an exception, probably because of more unprotected exposure to sunlight.

PositiveTip: Lower your cancer risk by engaging in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily.