Open Accessibility Menu

Stay Active to Prevent Cancer

Stay Active to Prevent Cancer

Everyone knows that physical activity is good for your health. It has countless benefits: weight management, improving brain health, strengthening bones and muscles, reducing feelings of anxiety and depression, improving your quality of sleep, and more. But one major benefit is that normal physical activity can help lower your risk of developing certain cancers.

According to a study by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, exercise is associated with a lower risk of 13 specific types of cancer. Regular physical activity can lower your risk of developing:

Physical activity can help to regulate some hormones that cause cancer, such as estrogen. It also helps regulate insulin levels Additionally, exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese is a factor in about 14-20% of cancer deaths in the U.S.

How Much Exercise is Necessary?

You don’t need to run a marathon to reduce your risk. Even a brisk walk is considered moderate-intensity physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening activity each week.

While that may sound like a lot, 150 minutes breaks down to 30 minutes per day, five days per week.

Muscle-strengthening activities work all major muscle groups, including the legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms. A few of these activities include lifting weights, working with resistance bands, push-ups or sit-ups, heavy gardening (digging and shoveling), and some forms of yoga.

Ways to Stay Physically Active (in Frederick County)

If going for a run or hitting the treadmill isn’t your thing, don’t worry—there are plenty of great options to keep your physical activity on track.

  • Swimming: This is a great, low-impact cardio option. Swimming is a full-body workout, working the arms, back, legs, glutes, and core. If you suffer from joint pain, swimming could be a great option for you. You can head to a local swimming pool or the beach at Cunningham Falls State Park where swimming, camping, fishing, and canoeing are open to the public.
  • Volleyball: This fun sport works the legs, arms, and core. Volleyball is a great workout—just 30 minutes indoors can burn 140 calories. But if you take it to the beach, you can burn upwards of 350 calories. You can find adult volleyball leagues through Frederick County Parks & Recreation. Or, you can grab a few friends and head to a local fitness center.
  • Hiking: This is a great cardio workout that helps keep your joints limber and builds muscle mass. Additionally, being outside in the sunshine provides your body with vitamin D and fresh air. Luckily, Frederick County is rich with great hiking trails of all difficulty levels that can be enjoyed year-round. Check out Catoctin Mountain Park, Gambrill State Park, Gathland State Park, South Mountain State Battlefield, or Sugarloaf Mountain for a variety of different atmospheres and terrains.

Reduce your risk of developing cancer. Make an appointment with your Primary Care provider today to discuss an exercise plan that’s right for you.