A study conducted by the University of Sydney on 80,000 adults aged thirty years and up found that strength training was significantly more likely than cardio in preventing premature cancer-related deaths.
Those studied who did strength training just twice a week were almost one third (31 percent) less likely to die from cancer. The overall likelihood of dying prematurely from any cause also dropped by 23 percent.
Those who combined both aerobic and strength training had the best overall outcomes. Aerobic exercises alone did not reduce a person’s risk of dying from cancer.
There are many benefits to strength training. It lowers the levels of hormones such as estrogen and insulin, which are known to correlate with the development and progression of cancerous cells. Post-menopausal women who increase their physical activity lower their risk of breast cancer.
In addition, strength training alters the metabolism by developing lean muscle mass, resulting in decreased exposure to the bile acids of the gastrointestinal tract. It reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system, allowing the body to fight diseases and function properly.
Starting a strength-training program, even when diagnosed with cancer, can yield positive outcomes.
Starting on a strength-training program as soon as possible after being diagnosed with cancer is highly recommended. Patients typically slow down after diagnosis allowing stress, depression, and fatigue to set in. Treatment also tends to make a person less active, which only aggravates the situation.
One way to combat this is through strength training. It elevates your mood and increases self-confidence. Strength training also improves your balance, making daily activities more comfortable to perform. You will not only have increased muscle mass, you will have more energy and reduce the risk of losing bone mass (osteoporosis) which can be caused by some cancer treatments. One week of being bedridden is equivalent to one year of bone loss. Contrary to popular belief, osteoporosis is reversible. Because bone is alive and can regenerate, strength training is the number one scientifically proven sport to fight osteoporosis.
It can also help in shortening the length of time spent in the hospital by making your treatment more effective at destroying tumor cells, as it boosts your immune system.
Studies conducted by the Canada Research Chair regarding physical activity and cancer at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, suggests that increased level of physical activity reduces the risk of cancer coming back.
Before starting any exercise program, consult with your physician to make sure it is right for you. The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
It is also recommended to seek the advice of a professional that can help you achieve your fitness goals gradually and safely. Before hiring a health coach, do your due diligence to check their track record and success rate.
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Batista Gremaud is an International Body Designer, No1 Best Selling author, co-creator of the Feminine Body Design online strength training coaching system, co-host of the Esoteric Principles of Bodybuilding and producer of the Dr Fitness USA’s show.
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