Exercise is not only helping prevent breast cancer but also lowers your blood pressure.
Moderate exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer by up to 20%. And this is huge. We are talking about risk that drops from 11% down to 9% or less. And we are talking about doing 30 min of exercise 5 days per week. And this can be done in 1 or multiple daily sessions, meaning that 6 sessions of 5 min walk counts as well. We can all do this, we just need to park our car a bit further from the place we work at and walk faster to raise your heart rate on average over 100 beats per minute. You can read more about impact that lifestyle has on breast cancer here.
Being overweight also significantly increases women's risk of developing breast cancer. If a woman has had breast cancer, her risk of recurrence is 30% higher if she is obese. And if cancer recurs, then she also has a 50% higher risk of dying from breast cancer as well.
So these two lifestyle risks have a significant influence on breast cancer development and also the risk of breast cancer death.
The recent study in the Journal of Hypertension has shown that brisk 30min walk in the morning decreased blood pressure in obese and overweight people. This decrease in blood pressure was sustained for several hours during the day. If women walked for 3 min or less briskly every half an hour during the sedentary session, their blood pressure dropped even more. This result in a break from sitting that was observed in women was not observed in men, which I found very interesting. Lowering the blood pressure is associated with a 20% lower risk for death of coronary heart disease and a 40% lower risk of death from stroke.
This study is a small study, but its results are very encouraging. It is excellent to note that exercise and other healthy lifestyle choices have such a massive decrease in the risk of chronic illnesses and cancer.
There is no best time to exercise. Previously we have thought that morning exercise, especially on an empty stomach, is best for weight/fat loss. This may not be the case anymore. In the end, exercising on an empty stomach will lead you to lose fewer calories than exercising post meal as you do not have enough gas/calories that are readily available to you to use for energy.
Exercising too close to bedtime was previously not encouraged, but a sleep study has found out that we slept better and have had less disturbed sleep (less waking up in the night) if we exercised within 1.5hours of going to bed.
In the end, there is no best time to exercise. You should exercise when your body feels it's best to exercise, which is according to your body's circadian rhythm. For me doing cardiovascular exercise feels best in the evening (tennis or swimming) and I am more likely to complete it then. At the same time, I am more likely to complete yoga in the morning, on an empty stomach, as this makes me feel better.
I would recommend that you try to exercise at a different time of the day for each type of exercise that you do, and figure out when is the best time for you to exercise. The better you are feeling during exercising, the more likely you are more likely to stick with exercising and make the exercise your regular habit.
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I am Breast, Endocrine and General Surgeon.
Wakefield Specialist Medical Centre
99 Rintoul St, Newtown
Waikanae Specialist Centre
Boulcott Specialist Centre
666 High Street, Boulcott