"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." – Albert Einstein
This is just one of the famous quotations of the theoretical physicist to live by. Even Dr. Richard Goldberg, Physician-in-Charge at James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Ohio State University in America, agrees with him:
"It's all about the balance in the body. What you take in in calories versus what you burn makes a difference in how we look and what we wear; it also makes a difference in the possibility of cells going wrong while they're dividing [causing cancer]," Goldberg says in an interview.
He adds that managing energy balance by either eating less, eating well, or exercising more is really important to preventing cancer. The specialist explains that, for the purpose of reducing the possibility of cancer occurrence, aerobic exercise like running, walking, swimming and biking is better than weightlifting. He also prescribes exercise for his colon cancer patients "because it's almost as effective as chemotherapy in increasing their chances of a cure."
Essentially,"The message is to keep moving," he adds
Cancer is the third leading cause of death in the Philippines and its survival rates are relatively low says a study by the Philippine Cancer Society. Seventy five percent of cancer patients are around 50 years old and above while 3.2% belongs to the pediatric age bracket of 0 to 14 years old.
Meanwhile, 8.2 million people worldwide die yearly because of cancer according to World Health Organization. As of 2016, there are more than three million reported cancer deaths globally. (See link: http://www.worldometers.info/cancer/)
Cancer is the second common killer in the world next to heart disease. Hence, numerous medical treatments have been developed to arrest it – chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, stem cell therapy,and the list goes on.
There is also the preventative surgery. Actress Angelina Jolie undertook this procedure where she had her breasts, fallopian tubes, and ovaries removed after learning she is 87% at risk of having breast cancer and 50% at risk of having ovarian cancer. Jolie lost three women in her family to cancer, making her predisposed to acquire the disease.
Aside from medical treatments, research also shows that exercise or active lifestyle may help fight cancer.
"Researchers are learning that physical activity can also affect the risk of cancer. There is convincing evidence that physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of cancers of the colon and breast. Several studies also have reported links between physical activity and a reduced risk of cancers of the prostate, lung, and lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer)," says an article by National Cancer Institute in US.
How exercise can benefit us physically, mentally, and even emotionally is well established. Studies on the benefits of an active lifestyle over sedentary lifestyle are replete.
Based on the Effect of Acute Exercise on Prostate Cancer Cell Growth, an experiment done in Sweden and published in 2013, "a group of healthy young men were exercised on a bike for 60 minutes. Their blood was taken before the exercise and also straight after. Their blood was then spun down to extract the clear serum and poured over laboratory lines of prostate cancer cells to see if they would grow. Results show, serum taken after exercise suppressed the cancer cell growth by 31%."
Contrariwise, a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous. Based on a study by American College of Cardiology, sitting can be as deadly as smoking. When sitting for long periods of time, our body goes into its ‘storage mode' – the body stops working as effectively as it should be. Thus, it is linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
An account on the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has shown the same result wherein sedentary behavior has posted significantly higher risk for three types of cancer: 8% for colon cancer, 10% for endometrial cancer, and 6% for lung cancer compared to those physically active.
"Human beings evolved as a walking entity, exploring the world on our feet," says Dr. James Levine, author of Move a Little, Lose a Lot.
We are biologically created to move. Here are some exercise tips to get us started:
Get NEAT. NEAT stands for non-exercise thermogenesis and this includes stretching, turning, and bending. Exercise physiologist Fabio Comana, an instructor in San Diego State University's School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences advises: "Get moving more often with small goals." He also adds, "Stretch out your entire body, all the muscles that are cramped. If you do it five or six times a day, you'll start to notice a difference."
Take the stairs whenever possible. This is an easy exercise that really pays dividends. "If you're going to the fifth floor, walk up to two or three and take the elevator the rest of the way. Climbing stairs is a great way to burn calories and will help to strengthen legs," says Polly de Mille, nurse and exercise physiologist at Women's Sports Medicine Center,Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.
Dance while you clean. According to Hannah-Marie Williams, personal trainer and exercise physiologist in New York, "A good inspirational tune can add some extra pep to your step as you vacuum, iron, and tidy up around the apartment or house," and "the music, along with the joy dancingfreely generally brings, can cause the brain to signal the release of serotonin, creating emotional benefits while you torch calories."
Pretend it's the ‘80's. "Have a question for your co-worker down the hall? Don't shoot him an e-mail; walk to his cubicle and ask him face to face. Some companies have instituted email-free Fridays to get employees out of their chairs more often," shares Levine.
End your work with a bang. Typically, you lose steam as 5 p.m. approaches. "But if you take a brisk, 15-minute walk in the afternoon, you'll be far more productive in your last two hours," Comana divulges. "If you're worried that you don't have time for a walk, you may be surprised that you get your work done more quickly afterwards."
"There is ‘can' in cancer because we can beat it."
Aforementioned clinical studies and testimonials reveal that we can be proactive to keep our body healthy. We can stand against chronic diseases like cancer if we intentionally lead an active and a positive lifestyle. Include also the shift to healthy diet.
According to an article by onegreenplanet.org, "a plant-based diet has been well-studied on its preventative benefits for fighting cancer. Medical professional such as Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine and Dr. Joel Fuhrman have also explained the benefits of eating a plant-based diet for cancer prevention. Because a plant-based diet is packed with antioxidants that support the immune system, the body has a stronger ability to fight off unhealthy cancer cells as a result."
The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, himself prescribed:"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." One of Mother Nature's greatest gifts to us is Moringa Oleifera or Malunggay.
According to miracletrees.org,"Moringa has been shown in studies to have an anti-tumor capacity. Moringa contains benzyl isothiocyanate. There are many studies that have shown this chemical and compounds derived thereof to have anti-cancer and chemoprotective capabilities. This chemoprotective aspect is critical for those who are battling cancer; this helps strengthen cells so that they can tolerate chemotherapy."
Moringa Oleifera also contains Niacin or Vitamin B3 that may help increase the therapeutic efficacy of anti-cancer treatment. This is according to an1987 international conference on Niacin, Nutrition, ADP-Ribosylation and Cancer held in Texas, USA.
Moringa is not just an ally to fight against cancer; it is also a superfood packed with 92 nutrients, 46 antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories, 18 amino acids and 9 essential amino acids that help boost the immune system.
Good thing, Moringa's benefits are today conveniently captured in a gel known as the Malungai LifeOil pure malunggay oil extract. This all-natural food supplement has the benefits of Moringa that can give the nutrients our bodies need to fight back against daily health threats and risks.
With proper nutrition, regular exercise, and positive outlook in life, we can lead the move against cancer.
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