Another Powerful Reason To Move Your Body Daily
By Kat Gal
I am a runner.
As a former skinny couch-potato who had even failed gym class once, I decided to join the cross-country team during my Freshman year in college. My plan was to find new friends, skip practices and walk my races.
What really happened was that I fell in love with running. I improved quickly and felt like I had found my thing.
Now, long after my college athletic career, I still run. Running gives me joy, energy, freedom, time for myself and an opportunity to connect with nature. I enjoy other forms of exercise as well, such as swimming, biking, hiking, walking, TRX and pilates.
I always encourage my clients to find the type of exercise that brings them joy, that lights up their heart and makes their souls smile, instead of trying to follow a trend or someone else’s footsteps. Try a variety of things until you find the one that you love.
The most important thing is that you do find a form of exercise that you enjoy. It is important for your physical and mental health – and, as it turns out, exercise may even aid with fighting cancer.
According to a new study in Denmark, mice that ran between 2.5 – 4.3 miles a night fought off cancer easier than those that didn’t. Running seems to boost the immune system, slow down existing tumors (to grow by only 60%) and may even prevent new tumors from developing.
As the stress hormone levels of the mice rose, their immune systems released natural cancer-fighting cells, called interleukin-6, into their bloodstreams, which then went straight to the cancerous tumours. Researchers had noticed the same with several different cancers, including liver, lung and skin cancer. Though existing tumors didn’t shrink because of exercise, their growth had slowed down and they didn’t increase in number.
This research was done on mice and the understanding of the process is still limited. The next stage of research would obviously be to observe the same in humans. Yet, the research is still remarkable, as this is the first time we have seen tumour growth being positively controlled through exercise.
According to Lee Jones from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, it has been known that exercise has a positive impact on cancer cell activity, but this is the first study that has shown that it can actually help to fight tumors.
Pernille Hojman, researcher at the University of Copenhagen, discussed the importance of this research.
Cancer patients tend to be concerned about exercise. Should someone with cancer exercise? What kind of exercise should they do? How much and at what intensity?
While it is still too soon to give a specific prescription of exercise regimen to those with cancer, it is becoming clear that exercise has a positive impact on fighting cancer.
The next step of Hojman and his team is to see if they can achieve similar results over a longer period of time. Their other aim is to learn how exercise could fit with other existing cancer treatments to achieve the best results possible.
Ruth Heidrich, PhD is a raw vegan former professional ironman triathlete who turned. She is a survivor of an aggressive form of breast cancer she was diagnosed with in 1982 at age 47. After her diagnosis, Heidrich overhauled her diet to a low-fat, plant-based, completely vegan one and exercised all through her cancer treatment. She actually increased her fitness through her recovery and has won 900 medals since.
Kris Carr, cancer-thriver, green juice-lover superwoman also recommends exercise among her tips for cancer patients. She explains that the lack of exercise can weaken your immune system, decrease your endurance, speed up muscle wasting and lead to more fatigue.
Cancer thrivers who exercise are able to handle treatments better, recover faster and stay healthier in the process. Not to mention that exercise decreases inflammation and growth stimulators, all good for fighting cancer. She recommends anything that you love, dance, yoga, or walking, just as long as you move.
From these two examples, it is becoming clear that exercise alone is not the magic answer. Both Carr and Heidrich had overhauled a diet and eat a plant-based, organic and clean one. They both move their bodies, but also maintain their emotional health through meditation and mindset work.
It is never just one thing: it is a mind-body-soul complete package.
Exercise is of course not only for those with cancer, but for everyone, regardless of their health.
Exercise has a limitless amount of benefits:
- It helps control your weight
- Combat health conditions and diseases
- Boost your energy
- Boost self-love
- Improve your mood
- Improve your self-confidence
- Alleviate your anxiety
- Boost your brainpower
- Promote better sleep
- Create fun in your life
- Help your sex life
- Help your productivity
- Enhance your creativity
- Improve your memory
- Reduce stress in your life
- Inspire others
- Help you to connect with nature
Exercise has so many physical and emotional health benefits that there is no reason for you to not exercise. As soon as you finish reading this article, get up and move your body. Go for a walk, put on your favorite song and shake your booty, or do some yoga.
Do you exercise regularly? What is your favorite form of exercise? What kind of benefits have you noticed? Share your stories below, we’d love to hear from you.
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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