The exercise that could cut your cancer risk by a third

Is exercise and going to the gym just not your thing?

Or, do you always make sure you get plenty of aerobic exercise but think it’s ok to skip the strength training?

If so, you might want to rethink things. You see, those exercises that promote muscle strength may be just as important to your health as aerobic activities, like walking, jogging or cycling.

That’s because according to new study of over 80,000 adults, doing those dreaded push ups and sit ups could add years to your life.

Let’s take a look at the why…

Longer life and less cancer

The study, conducted at the University of Sydney, looked at a population sample of over 80,306 adults to determine their activity levels in relation to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s)Physical Activity Guidelines, which recommends 150 minutes of aerobic activity, plus two days of muscle strengthening activities each week.

The researchers then compared their activity levels with the participant’s risk of death from all causes as well as their risk of death from cancer.

Here’s what they found…

  • Participation in any strength-promoting exercise was associated with a 23 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and a 31 percent reduction in cancer mortality.
  • Performing bodyweight exercises in any setting without equipment yielded comparable results to gym-based activities.
  • Adherence to the WHO’s strength-promoting exercise guideline alone was associated with reduced risk of cancer-related death, but adherence to the WHO’s aerobic physical activity guideline alone was not.
  • Adherence to the WHO’s strength-promoting exercise and aerobic guidelines combined was associated with a greater risk reduction in mortality than aerobic physical activity alone.

In other words, doing strength training exercises reduces your risk of death from all causes by 23 percent and from cancer by almost a third — a benefit you don’t get from aerobic activity alone!

And, even better…

You don’t have to go to a gym to do it… The study proved you can get the exact same benefits from doing your strength training exercises in the comfort of your own home.

Related: How to avoid 13 different cancers

Easy strength training exercises

Whether you choose to exercise at the gym, at home or even in your local park, it’s clear that adding strength training exercises to your routine is vital to increase your life span and reduce your risk of cancer.

Here are some simple exercises to add:

  1. Push Ups – When down on the ground, set your hands at a distance that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be set up in a way that feels right and comfortable to you. Think of your body as one giant straight line.

With your arms straight, butt clenched, and abs braced, steadily lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle or smaller. Pause slightly and then push back up.

  1. Sit Ups – Lie on your back on an exercise mat. Bend your knees and plant your feet about hip-distance apart. Place your hands on the back of your head, where it attaches to your neck. Point your elbows to the sides of the room.

Exhale and pull your belly button in toward your spine as you gently raise your torso by bending your hips and waist. Lift up until your torso is just inches from your thighs. Inhale and control your return to the start position to complete one repetition.

  1. Lunges – Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up (pick a point to stare at in front of you so you don’t keep looking down). Always engage your core.

Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position. If you have knee pain, follow these tips for painless lunges.

  1. Tricep Dips – Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.

Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position.

The next time you’re working out, don’t forget the strength training exercises above to add years to your life and reduce your risk of cancer.

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Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.