Walking-Club Check-In: Walk Away from Breast Cancer

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Walk Away from Breast CancerWelcome, or welcome back, to the Dr. Sinatra Walking Club. If you missed the "official introduction," you can see it here. Each Saturday, I post a new Walking Club Check-in, where you can post your minutes walked, the number of times you walked, or miles by leaving a comment.

Today, I want to talk about the power of walking to reduce your risk of breast cancer...

We've all known for a long time that even moderate exercise, performed regularly, can substantially reduce your risk of heart disease. But we're learning that the power of exercise goes beyond that. In the last few years, studies have shown that moderate exercise, like walking, can reduce breast cancer risks substantially.

In one study of nurses 30-55 years old, those exercising seven hours or more per week, reduced their breast cancer risk by 20 percent. Plus, those who exercised just two to four hours a week had a ten percent reduction in their breast cancer risk. Other research has found that as little as three hours of moderate exercise per week, such as walking, can reduce breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.

As Dr. Sinatra explains it, exercise reduces circulating estrogens in postmenopausal women. It also increases levels of a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) that regulates free-floating estrogens in the bloodstream. By tying up the estrogen, it is prevented from influencing target organs such as the breast.

This is especially good news to me since a dear friend of mine is currently undergoing yet a third round of screening tests to find out if she has breast cancer. But I do know that she's very active-so I'm hopeful that all of the exercise she gets will protect her.

Now it's your turn:

1. Did you walk this week?
If so, please leave a comment to log your days, miles, or minutes walked.

2. Also, have you had an experience with breast cancer with either yourself, a loved one, or a dear friend? Feel free to share your story, and let's all keep on walking!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Karen

Remember to consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program.


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