Countless studies have shown just how important exercise is for preventing chronic diseases including cancer. However, the majority of these studies focus on aerobic exercise, so much so that other forms of exercise like strength training are disregarded. A recent study from the University of Sydney in Australia proves that strength training should not be considered inferior to aerobic exercise since it’s just as and possibly even more effective at reducing cancer and all-cause mortality risk.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, evaluated information from 80,000 adults over the age of 30. These data came from the Health Survey for England, the Scottish Health Survey, and the National Health Service Central Mortality Register. Their findings show that people who perform strength training exercises twice a week can reduce their risk of cancer-related death by a whopping 31 percent. Moreover, strength training was observed to reduce the risk of dying from any cause by 23 percent.
“Our message to date has just been to get moving but this study prompts a rethink about, when appropriate, expanding the kinds of exercise we are encouraging for long-term health and well-being,” said Dr. Emmanuel Stamatakis who is an associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney and the lead author of this study.
Another study, this time from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, provides more evidence that strength training is important for health. Their research, which was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, collected data from 8,500 men between 20 and 82 years old for over 20 years. Analysis of the data showed that participants with the highest muscle strength, who were also observed to work out more consistently with weights, reduced their chances of dying from cancer by 30 to 40 percent. Moreover, they were able to associate strength training with lower blood pressure.
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Overall, these two studies show that people should also perform strength training exercises and not just aerobic exercises since it also has notable health benefits. (Related: Another disease linked to inactivity: Study finds increased risk of lung, head and neck cancers among the sedentary.)
Strength training exercises
Unlike aerobic exercises that keep the heart pumping and encourage blood circulation, strength training exercises focus on activities that increase muscle mass, buildup physical strength, and improve endurance. A lot of people lean towards the former not just because they know more about its health benefits, but also because they think that strength training exercises can only be done in gyms where expensive and complex equipment like weight machines are found. But this is not the case. There are many classic strength training exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home and without needing any equipment. Some examples of these include the following:
Squats — Squats are highly recommended by physical trainers since they have multiple benefits, which include better balance, burning off fat, improved circulation, and firmer muscles especially in your legs.
Lunges — This exercise involves shifting the weight as you step forward and backward so it’s great for your legs, calves, hamstrings, and core. Lunges also improve your flexibility and balance.
Planks — Planks may look simple but they are a lot of work since it involves your entire core and your glutes. If you suffer from back pain, planking can even help alleviate the pain by teaching your abs how to activate and support your body.
Push-ups — The classic push-up involves many muscle groups including your core, biceps, triceps, deltoids, and lower body. Because of this, it also promotes blood circulation and consequently improves heart health.
Read more news articles on how you can prevent and cure cancer by visiting Anticancer.news.