We have all known how physical activity is important in normal functioning of the body. Physical activity can bring about increased energy levels in the body and may also eliminate long-term dangerous medical illnesses.
Physical Activity and Its Benefits
Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement that is produced by the muscles of the body and composes energy balance which affects our health. It is said that regular physical activity has a lot of benefits such as the control of weight, the maintenance of healthy bones and muscles, the reduction of risks for long-term illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes, psychological well-being, reduction in death risks and reduction in premature death risks. Also, latest news has it that physical activity can prevent the risk for cancers, especially that of the colon and of the breast, and that of the lung, the esophagus, the prostate and the uterus. These facts are especially important since many people are now into sedentary activity.
It is advised that adults should engage in moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day for five or more days a week, or engage in vigorous intensity physical activities for at least 20 minutes a day for three or more times a week. Examples of moderate intensity physical activity include walking, brisk walking, hiking, roller skating, bicycling, aerobic dancing, water aerobics, calisthenics, yoga, home exercises, trampoline jumping, climbing stairs, weight training, boxing, dancing, table tennis, tennis, golf, basketball, softball, and other sports.
Vigorous physical activities include race, walking, jogging, running, backpacking, mountain climbing, dancing, water jogging, aerobics, calisthenics, push-ups, pull-ups, jumping rope, jumping jacks, weigh training, boxing, wrestling, dancing, tennis, football, basketball, soccer, rugby, kickball, hockey, skiing, rowing, scuba diving, horseback riding, gardening, lawn mowing, heavy housework and carrying objects weighing 50 pounds or more.
Physical activity is said to be protective against cancers. In colon cancers, it has been shown to protect against tumor growth and development while regulating hormone metabolism, insulin regulation, and prevention of toxic effects of carcinogens. It may also decrease inflammation and regulate the immune system. In breast cancer, physical activity lowers hormone levels especially in pre-menopausal women while also lowering insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels. It also enhances the immune response and maintains body weight for long-term.
Physical Activity in Cancer Survivors
New research also says that physical activity after diagnosis of cancers can improve quality of life, reduce fatigue and boost energy levels. Physical activity can reduce excess body weight even after a cancer diagnosis while also helping overcome side effects of chemotherapy. It is said that cancer survivors have improved survival rates as compared to those who lived sedentary lives. Physical activity can improve fitness and psychological well-being of cancer survivors and can help them become compliant with treatment regimens. Physical activity has various effects on leptin and insulin levels and can improve cancer prognosis.
A recent study has shown that male cancer survivors can live longer if they exercise. This study, published in the January issue of the Journal of Physical Activity & Health, studied more than a thousand male cancer survivors in the United States over the years. The researchers found out that men who burned more than 12,600 calories per week were less likely to die by 48 percent than those who burned less than 2,100 calories per week. Also, the researchers found out that those men who were physically active were less likely to die from heart disease by 49% and were less likely to die from cancer by 38%.
Thus the researchers suggest that cancer survivors should undertake regular physical activity to enhance longevity. If you want to learn about the other benefits of physical activity on cancers, you may read other articles on this site.