Prevention Strategy 2: Grab Your Sneakers and Get Walking

 

This strategy is also a simple one but requires motivation. Now that you’ve brought your lemon/lime water bottle to work or prepared it to enjoy during the day at home like I do, get your sneakers or comfortable walking shoes on. Exercise is something that can become an enjoyable habit, especially if you recruit a walking buddy. I recruited my husband and it’s a time in the day when we’re not distracted by the television or cell phones. It may seem hard to get started,  but once you make it part of your everyday routine,  it will become easier.

 

Walking is the simplest form of exercise and one that can be achieved anywhere. One thing that may help is the purchase of an inexpensive pedometer. It’s fun to keep track of progress and is a great motivational tool. Aim for 10,000 steps per day or 30 minutes of brisk walking. No need for expensive gym memberships, although going to the gym would be an excellent choice. Walking is cheap, easy and effective.

 

According to the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project for example, (many studies are available on the internet on this topic), statistics show that walking three hours per week, or a half hour per day, improves breast cancer survival rates by as much as 50% and reduces risk of developing the disease by 30%. This is an easy goal to achieve, and matches the minimum exercise levels recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Walking for a half hour per day will also reduce risks for other cancers, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

 

According to cancer.gov: Researchers have established that regular physical activity can improve health by:

  • Help to control weight

  • Maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints

  • Reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes

  • Promote psychological well-being

  • Reduce the risk of death from heart disease

  • Reduce the risk of premature death

 

Guidelines recommend working up to a “brisk walk” which equates to 3-4 miles per hour. Of course walking outside is preferred, not only for esthetic reasons, but to take advantage of health benefits of the vitamin D gained from sunshine. When the weather is bad, create an indoor path in your home. This is when a pedometer is especially helpful for measuring progress, distance and maintaining motivation.