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Benefits of Exercise for Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted May 12 2010 7:03am
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for nearly everyone, including breast cancer survivors.  While previous research studies have suggested that exercise can have a variety of benefits, little research has been conducted to determine how much exercise might need to be done before seeing those benefits.

In a newly published breast cancer study, investigators explored the possible benefits of exercise in breast cancer survivors after 3 and 6 months.  For this study, breast cancer survivors were assigned to one of three study groups: group 1 remained sedentary and performed no exercise, group 2 followed an individualized exercise program for 3 months, and group 3 followed an individualized exercise program for 6 months.  A variety of health endpoints were measured at the beginning of the study and after 3 and 6 months.  The investigators reported that
  • Improvements in cardivascular endurance, fatigue, and symptoms of depression were observed in breast cancer survivors after both 3 and 6 months of exercise.
  • Additional improvements were seen in pulmonary function and muscular endurance after a full 6 months of exercise.
  • Sedentary individuals did not show any improvement in cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, pulmonary function or fatigue after 6 months.
These new breast cancer study results emphasize the importance of a regular exercise program for breast cancer survivors.  While previous research studies in breast cancer survivors have reported that exercise reduces the risk of dying from breast cancer and reduces the risk of developing mild or clinical depression , this new breast cancer study shows that exercise also has a number of physical benefits for breast cancer survivors.  Developing a long-term physical activity plan can be an important step in the improvement of one's quality of life during and after recovery from breast cancer.

Read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer to learn about lifestyle choices you can easily make to reduce breast cancer risk.
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