When Jennifer Aniston, Patricia Clarkson, and Demi Moore team up to direct and act in "Five," an anthology of short films about the impact of breast cancer, you know it's a subject you can't walk away from. After all, one in eight American women will develop breast cancer. But, as it turns out, you can run from it. Running, cycling, walking, swimming — any regular workout, including lifting weights and doing stretch bands, slashes your risk by up to 30 percent. Although vigorous exercise is most effective, you can gain some benefits from moderate activity.
How does this work? Physical activity lowers specific hormone levels, helps you decrease inflammation, and reduces body fat, triggering a chain reaction: less fat, less estrogen, and less inflammation equals less cancer risk.
So what's the drill that delivers? Aerobics plus weight training. Go for five days of walking — aiming for 10,000 steps a day. Include 20 minutes three times a week of rapid walking or other cardio exercise to raise your pulse to 80 percent of your age-adjusted maximum heart rate. Also, do two days of strength training a week for 20 to 30 minutes. Results come from form (shoulders back and relaxed, core centered, pelvis slightly tucked in) and function (three sets of 12 reps per exercise). The combo also helps you dodge cancer and heart disease and keep your mind sharp and emotions calm.
Bonus: Take two baby aspirins with a half glass of warm water before and after for max prevention of breast cancer — if your doc agrees.
© 2012 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Posts by Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Dr. Mike Roizen, M.D.
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