Thursday, August 20, 2009
An article in today's New York Times cites a Finnish study that suggests that exercise, the more strenous the better, reduces cancer risk.
"The subjects, all men living in eastern Finland, kept diaries of their daily activities for a year and then went about them.
At the start of the study, none had cancer. By the end, 181 had died of the disease. Parsing the men’s activity levels, the researchers determined that, after controlling for cigarette smoking, fiber and fat intake, age, and other variables, the most physically active men were the least likely to develop cancer, particularly of the gastrointestinal tract or the lung. Even more striking, the intensity of the exercise was key. The more arduous it was, the more protective it proved. Jogging was the most strenuous activity studied, fishing among the least. The men who jogged or otherwise exercised fairly intensely for at least 30 minutes a day had “a 50 percent reduction in the risk of dying prematurely from cancer,” says Sudhir Kurl, medical director of the School of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Kuopio in Finland and one of the study’s authors."
Wow. At the end of the year 181 of the 2560 men in the study were dead. That's 7%.
Talking about women:
"Similarly, in one of the studies included in the colon cancer review, women who walked briskly for five to six hours a week were much less likely to develop colon cancer than those who strolled for 30 minutes per week. And in the bogglingly comprehensive 2008 national Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee report prepared for the secretary of health and human services, which includes a chapter about exercise and cancer, the authors concluded that when it comes to breast cancer, “one hour per day of moderate or vigorous activity produces greater reduction in risk” than the two and a half hours of moderate exercise per week that are currently recommended by the surgeon general."
That inspires me to be more diligent in my workout. And to get the speed up on the treadmill...
Here's a link to the article: