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The Best Exercises To Help Prevent Breast Cancer, Expert Says

Be aware and start incorporating these exercises into your routine today.

Breast cancer awareness is not to scare you; it's to help teach you ways you can possibly prevent it from happening. Although you can't do anything about family medical history, you can be proactive by taking the necessary steps to lower your risk of developing this disease. We've spoken to an expert, Dr. Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, the Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro and a certified personal trainer, and are here with the best exercises to help prevent breast cancer. Read on so you can be aware and start incorporating them into your routine today.

Studies reveal that implementing changes in your daily life can lower the risk of breast cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. This includes high-risk individuals. The best self-love you can give yourself to reduce your risk is to limit how much alcohol you consume and exercise more.

When it comes to the best exercises to help prevent breast cancer, there's not one physical activity that's more beneficial than another. What's important is to make sure you do some sort of exercise consistently. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorously intense aerobic exercise each week, in addition to two or more days of exercise that boosts muscle strength.

Dr. Bohl explains examples of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise include a brisk walk, biking, swimming, or any physical activity that brings your heart rate to a moderate increase (such as tennis, gardening, or walking your pup). Examples of aerobic exercise at a vigorous-intensity level are running or jogging. As far as muscle-strengthening exercises are concerned, that would be weight lifting or performing bodyweight exercises, such as squats, lunges, or pushups.

Related: The Best Foods To Help Prevent Breast Cancer, Expert Says

Splitting up your time between cardio machines and selectorized weight machines is a solid routine to help prevent breast cancer.

Dr. Bohl tells us, "Altogether, a good routine that can help prevent breast cancer (and also helps prevent many other diseases, like heart disease and diabetes) might be going to the gym a few times a week and splitting your time between the cardio machines (like the treadmill or stationary bicycle) and the selectorized weight machines."

It's essential to stay active to lower your breast cancer risk. According to Susan G. Komen, there are so many simple, sneaky ways to bump up your activity level every day. For example, take a bike ride or walk rather than drive to run your errands, and take the stairs instead of riding the elevator when you can. Choose a parking spot further from your destination, and wear a step tracker to stay motivated. Instead of sitting on the couch while Netflixing, hop on an exercise bike!

Being physically active doesn't just lower your risk of breast cancer; it also lowers the risk of many other cancer types as well, including kidney, bladder, colon, and stomach cancers. "One of the main ways staying active helps reduce the risk of cancer is by preventing obesity," Dr. Bohl explains, adding, "But there are several other ways exercise might be beneficial—theories include the fact that exercise is good for immune function, that exercise reduces inflammation in the body, and that exercise lowers levels of certain sex hormones, growth factors, and insulin, which may all be associated with cancer development."

It's essential to continue to exercise as you age to keep your risk of breast cancer low. Dr. Bohl reveals, "One study found that—among women who incorporated exercise into their routine years ago but then became less active—some of the protective effects of exercise began to wear off. Other studies have shown that exercise can help reduce breast cancer risk in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa