Here is some fantastic news for women: researchers in Europe have found that daily exercise cuts the risk of breast cancer, regardless of a woman’s age or weight. The “age” and “weight” findings are surprising and hugely important. We’ve known for years that exercise can reduce some women’s risk of breast cancer, but earlier studies were smaller and narrower, focusing on young women or women who exercised a lot when they were young. The new one includes data on four million women and applies to all of us.
The researchers reviewed and analyzed all 37 studies of the impact of exercise on breast cancer risk, and found that compared to women who got the least amount of exercise, those who got the most lowered their risk of breast cancer by 12 percent. The risk reduction applies to all types of breast cancer, even the aggressive ones. This new finding is a gift.
The amount of exercise required was one hour or more daily (but the researchers didn’t specify the type or intensity of the exercise).
Exercise is a cornerstone of The Omni Diet so I’m thrilled to add another big benefit to those we already know about: exercise makes your lungs more efficient, strengthens the heart, muscles and immune system, lowers production of stress hormones by the adrenal gland, reduces levels of inflammation in the body, decreases joint pain, stress, blood sugar, boosts sensitivity to the hormone leptin (it tells your body to stop eating when you’re full) and helps you burn off belly fat that otherwise fosters inflammation. As I wrote in my book “The Omni Diet” (now available in paperback) if there were a pill that could do all that for your health, you would insist that your doctor write you a prescription and rush right to the drug store to fill it.
As you may know, I’m a brown belt in Kenpo Karate, and view myself as a warrior for my health. I know from first-hand experience how hard it is to overcome frustration and the temptation to view your body as your own worst enemy. I’m a cancer survivor who fought back and won, and I’ve since seen many others transform themselves from unhealthy, fat and out of shape to slim, fit and glowing with good health in far less time than you might imagine.
Part of the Omni Diet is an exercise plan that takes 30 to 60 minutes six days a week. It consists of strength training (working with weights to strengthen and tone your muscles) plus interval training or walking. (Interval training can be a walk or a bike ride at a modest pace interspersed with a 30 second to one minute sprint – or fast pedaling if you’re on a bike.)
You don’t have to run a marathon, you don’t have to become a body builder or achieve a black belt in taekwondo. You just have to accept the fact that your body was designed to be active. For the sake of your health, use it!
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