One in eight women. The statistics are rattling. One in eight of us are likely to hear the diagnosis of breast cancer, and even more of us probably know someone who has already been through the battle. But even though the numbers are scary, there is some good news. Walking regularly can help reduce your risk of breast cancer, help you through your recovery and lower your chances of recurrence.
How Walking Can Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer
Not only is walking regularly great for your mental health, but there are also plenty of physical health benefits, specifically in relation to reducing your risk of breast cancer. Harvard Medical School reported that an American Cancer Society study found women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week.
And for those women that have a genetic predisposition to breast cancer? It turns out that 2.7 weekly hours of moderate exercise, like walking, was associated with a 20% lower breast cancer risk, according to another study.
Why You Should Walk During Your Breast Cancer Treatment
When navigating your cancer journey, walking can help improve your likelihood of survival. Though many cancer patients may decrease their activity or stop their activity during treatment, studies show that those breast cancer warriors who maintained the highest levels of activity following diagnosis reduced their risk of death by 39% to 48% as compared to those who were least active.
How Walking After Breast Cancer Treatment is Beneficial
You’ve made it through your cancer treatment, but keeping your body and mind strong is of the utmost importance. In fact, preliminary research suggests that exercise, such as walking, may reduce the risk of a breast cancer recurrence.
In fact, the findings for high-risk breast cancer patients who engaged in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week both before and after diagnosis show they experienced greater than 50% reduced risk of recurrence and mortality compared with those who did not. But even those that weren’t physically active for at least 150 minutes each week prior to diagnosis experienced statistically significant reduced risk of recurrence and mortality when becoming more active after treatment.
Why You Should Make Walking a Habit for Better Health
No matter where you are in your health journey, a regular walking practice is an excellent way to achieve and maintain a healthier body. Whether you find yourself to be that one in eight, or if you know someone who is, walking with others can do wonders for mental health, too. And on a journey through a breast cancer diagnosis, this type of support is priceless.