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Physical Fitness 2017-07-28T05:55:59+00:00

There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, however, there are things we can do to decrease our risk of developing the disease. We know that our lifestyle choices can impact our risk of developing breast cancer and several other chronic diseases. For example, obesity and inactivity are two risk factors associated with breast cancer, in addition to, hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. Improving your health and reducing your risk of developing diseases should be a top concern for everyone. In this section, we will address the areas of maintaining a healthy weight, nutrition, and physical activity. Choosing a healthier lifestyle may not prevent you from developing breast cancer, but it will help you to feel empowered to take your health into your own hands and balancing your mind, body, and soul. For more information on nutrition, physical activity, and prevention, see the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/index.html.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:

We know that physical inactivity is a risk factor for developing breast cancer. The CDC encourages everyone to incorporate some form of physical activity into their lifestyle. Regular physical activity helps to improve your overall health and fitness, in addition to, reducing many chronic diseases. For more information, check the CDC Physical Activity Guidelines for Everyone at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/index.html. For Adults with disabilities, the CDC encourages you to find exercises that are adaptable to your particular circumstance. For more information visit: The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability.

According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, you need to do two types of physical activity each week to improve your health – aerobic and muscle-strengthening. Aerobic or “cardio” exercises helps get you breathing harder and your heart beating faster. Muscle strengthening activities should work all the major muscle groups of your body (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms). Before you start any workout regiment, you should check with your doctor first for recommendations.

CDC Guidelines for Adults (18 – 64): http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html

For Important Health Benefits, adults need at least:
A. 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle strengthening activity on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

B. 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and muscle strengthening activity on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

C. An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activity on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity means you’re working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. One way to tell is that you’ll be able to talk, but not sing the words to your favorite song. Here are some examples of activities that require moderate effort:

  • Walking fast
  • Doing water aerobics
  • Riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • Playing doubles tennis
  • Pushing a lawn mower

Build up over time

If you want to do more vigorous-level activities, slowly replace those that take moderate effort like brisk walking, with more vigorous activities like jogging.

Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity means you’re breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you’re working at this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. Here are some examples of activities that require vigorous effort:

  • Jogging or running
  • Swimming laps
  • Riding a bike fast or on hills
  • Playing singles tennis
  • Playing basketball

Muscle strengthening activities are:

  • Lifting weights
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Doing exercises that use your body weight for resistance (i.e., push ups, sit ups)
  • Heavy gardening (i.e., digging, shoveling)
  • Yoga

You may download a complete list of activities from the CDC website at:http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/pdf/PA_Intensity_table_2_1.pdf.

CDC Guidelines for Older Adults (ages 65 and older): http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/getactive/olderadults.html

If you’re 65 years of age or older, are generally fit, and have no limiting health conditions you can follow the CDC guidelines listed below. Check with your doctor before starting any workout regiment.

For Important Health Benefits, Older adults need at least:

A. 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate intensity aerobic exercise (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle strengthening activity on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

B. 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and muscle strengthening activity on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

C. An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle strengthening exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

[i] Centers for Disease Control: Division of Prevention, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Retrieved July 29, 2010 from: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/index.html.
[ii] American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2009-2010. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc.[iii] Long, E., (1993). Breast cancer in African American women: Review of the literature. Cancer Nursing, 16, 1- 24.[iv] Long, E., (1993). Breast cancer in African American women: Review of the literature. Cancer Nursing, 16, 1- 24.[v]Long, E., (1993). Breast cancer in African American women: Review of the literature. Cancer Nursing, 16, 1- 24.[vi] Centers for Disease Control: Division of Prevention, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Retrieved July 29, 2010 from: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/index.html.[vii] Centers for Disease Control: Division of Prevention, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Retrieved July 29, 2010 from: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/index.html.