The survey was of women between the ages of 20 and 69 living in Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. During structured telephone interviews, researchers questioned almost 8,000 women without breast cancer, more than 1,500 survivors of non-invasive breast cancer, and more than 6,000 survivors of invasive breast cancer.
The women were asked about their physical activity, occupation, family history of breast cancer, menopausal status, and body mass index.
A reduction in risk for women who exercised was apparent whether the physical activity took place early in life, in the postmenopausal years, or in the recent past.
Many don't realize my initial intention when I went to medical school was to help people use exercise to stay healthy. Virtually no one disagrees that it is essential to achieving health and treating illness. However, I have noticed that many physicians tend not to advocate exercise as much as they could.
I suspect this is likely related in most cases to them personally not adopting exercise in their own life so it would be "hypocritical" of them to advise their patients to exercise when they aren't. This is certainly not true of all physicians but it is for a great many of them.
This is a major pity. I really do believe one of the requirements for medical school should be personal disciplines that help the physicians achieve high levels of health and wellness so they can model it to their patients. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case nor will it likely happen in the near future.
In the meantime you can "Take Control of Your Health" by understanding how you can use exercise to improve and optimize your own health.
One of them is realizing that the most common cause of death for you and for nearly everyone reading this is actually cancer. So what can you do to prevent cancer?
Not only does it treat and prevent heart disease but it is equally as effective in cancer -- most likely for similar reasons, improvement of insulin levels.
Last night I learned that my brother-in-law, who is several years younger than me, had a heart attack and will be having bypass surgery. Even though I helped him stop smoking 20 years ago and he stopped his six cans of soda a day about 10 years ago there were many other elements of a healthy lifestyle he did not embrace.
One of the things he had not embraced in his lifestyle changes was exercise. Not only would exercise have dramatically lowered his risk of a heart attack, it would have also radically lowered his cancer risk. This is a "hidden" benefit of exercise that most people are not at all aware of.
Interestingly, both diseases are likely affected by the same mechanism, lowering insulin and leptin levels.
Probably the most important aspect about using exercise to optimize your health: You must treat it like a drug, meaning it must be prescribed precisely to do the most for your body. There's no truer evidence than this recent study about exercise and its protective effect on invasive breast cancer. At least six hours of strenuous exercise every week -- a prescription for health -- cut a woman's risks of invasive breast cancer by 23 percent.
Most importantly, a woman can receive the very same protection exercise affords her against breast cancer at any stage in her life, meaning it's never too late to start. If you need some help, you'll want to review my beginner's exercise page today.
Please remember, though, that while exercise is a vital component of optimal health, restricting your health plan to exercise exclusively is a prescription for disaster. The evidence for this assertion becomes apparent when you examine elite endurance athletes who develop cancer. You can learn more about virtually eliminating your cancer risks by reviewing my major recommendations.
On Vital Votes, Lifestyle and Nutrition Coach Josh Rubin from <!--?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /--><st1:place><st1:city>San Marcos</st1:city>, <st1:state>California</st1:state></st1:place> adds: