Walking and Breast Cancer
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12 percent) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime! For prevention, it has long been known that regular physical activity has been shown to decrease the likelihood of having breast cancer. What is even more fascinating though is the effect of regular physical activity on the breast cancer survival rates or likelihood of death in women that already have breast cancer. It’s high time to consider having a breast cancer walk today!
Below is the correlation between walking and breast cancer.
Breast Cancer and Walking
(Walk for Breast Cancer)
The breast cancer statistics and findings as reported by the American Medical Association’s JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) in May 2005 were astounding. Certain participants in the study of women with Stage I, II, or III breast cancer achieved a 50 percent reduction in their death rate from breast cancer.
Here are the breast cancer statistics: The journal reported that in the study, 2,987 female registered nurses had been diagnosed with breast cancer during the years 1984-1998. What the study found was that the women who had physical activity equivalent to walking at a steady pace of 2.0-2.9 miles per hour for 3-5 hours a week had a 50 percent death rate reduction compared to women who had physical activity equivalent to walking less than one hour a week. The conclusion of the breast cancer statistics in the study was that physical activity after breast cancer has been diagnosed may reduce the risk of death from breast cancer.
As a physical activity, walking can reduce breast cancer risk, and it can be done almost anytime by anyone anywhere. All that is needed is a good pair of walking shoes.
Walking is fun and reduces stress. As for injuries, walking has the lowest injury rate out of all the various kinds of exercise.
You can walk with a partner, friend, family member, or even your dog. Or, you can walk by yourself with your favorite headset and music. (If you are walking outdoors with a headset, keep one ear open to hear the sounds around you.)
As for basic walking tips:
- As you begin regular walking, take it easy. Standard advice is to check with your physician before starting any exercise program. If it has been years or decades since you walked regularly, perhaps you can begin with 5 minutes of walking and slowly increase your time and distance.
- Walking at a pace of 75–95 steps a minute will have you walking at a speed of about 2-3 miles per hour.
- Walk with your head up, looking out in front of you. Do not walk looking down right in front of you except to navigate any obstacles.
- Really take it easy the first 5 minutes of walking to warm up. Afterwards, gently stretch for 5–10 minutes while your muscles are warm.
- Practice good walking form. Your arms should swing naturally in the direction you are walking, not from side to side across your body. Your foot should strike the ground on your heel, then a rolling motion forward toward the ball of your foot, then pushing off with your toes.
And here are some basic walking shoes tips:
- Buy your walking shoes from a sporting shoes store with large selections. Doing so will give you plenty of choices. And buy your walking shoes later in the day when your feet will be larger as feet do expand as the day goes on and when you are exercising too.
- You should allow the width of your index finger between the end of your shoe and the end of your longest toe, or about one-half inch.
- Many people like to buy two pairs of walking shoes, one for home and one for the car or workplace. If one pair gets wet (which is likely), you can use the other pair that day.
Walking is the closest thing to the perfect exercise. In today’s fast-paced society, regular walking can be a welcomed break from the stresses of the day. Maybe you will get to know your neighborhood or neighbors better. There may be walking trails you have never seen but wanted to.
Wherever and however you choose to walk, not only can the entire experience be fun, you will know you are being good to your body in a variety of ways. Besides the incredible breast cancer statistics and findings of the breast cancer study, walking helps with weight control and bone strength, elevates mood, and helps build and maintain healthy muscles, joints, and heart. With so many great health benefits, why not get started with walking today. Also walk for breast cancer awareness!