Charilaos Papafragkakis, MD
Gastroenterologist - Hepatologist

Physical Activity and Cancer Prevention

27 Αυγ 2019 / Little activity is always better than nothing

Physical activity reduces the risk for many cancers, such as colon, breast and endometrial cancer. Studies have shown that exercise may play a role in reducing the risk of pancreatic and lung cancer.

 Maintaining a healthy body weight contributes to general physical health and the prevention of many forms of cancer. But even if we cannot lose weight, being more active helps to be in good and stable mood and slows the development of chronic diseases.

 If we are not used to working out, let's start with a 10-minute walk a day and slowly try to increase the distance and the intensity of the walk. If we do not have much time at our disposal, then we can walk a while whenever we have time. A common habit that can make a difference is to take the stairs and avoid the elevator. Remember, little activity is always better than nothing.

Sedentary behavior for a long time leads to increased body fat. High body fat can increase the risk for many types of cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Set your goal to exercise most days of the week.

  • 150 minutes of moderate activity each week or 75 minutes of intense activity each week
  • During moderate activity, you will be a little breathless and feel your heart beating a bit faster. You are able to talk in short sentences. During intense activity, you breathe faster and you are able to say only a few short words.

These are examples of moderate and intense activity:

Moderate Activities-150 minutes Intense activities-75 minutes

Fast walking
Slow swimming

Fast walking
Fast cycling


  • Do muscular strengthening exercises two days a week.

Muscle strengthening exercises help to optimize body weight, correct bone density and prevent osteoporosis, treat pains and stiffness due to arthritis and better help glycemic control for people with diabetes. These exercises also help to increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol.


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