You can reduce your cancer risk by eating well, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.
Click on the headings below to learn how exercise can help during and after cancer treatment.
Moving our body regularly gives us the energy to get through our day and helps our mental and physical health. However, our busy lives and jobs may mean we’re sitting all day and not moving enough.
Being active can reduce your risk of cancers such as bowel, breast and endometrial cancers. It also helps prevent weight gain. Overweight and obesity is a risk factor for 13 types of cancer, including cancer of the bowel, oesophagus, kidney, liver, pancreas, endometrium, and breast (after menopause).
Doing any exercise is better than doing none. If you currently do no exercise, start by doing some and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
For maximum cancer prevention benefits, adults should be active most and preferably all days.
Each week, adults should do either:
- At least 2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity – such as a brisk walk, golf, mowing the lawn or swimming
- 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous intensity physical activity – such as jogging, aerobics, fast cycling, soccer or netball
- For maximum cancer prevention benefits, aim for 60 minutes of moderate activity or 30 minutes of vigorous activity every day.
Fitting in more movement doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are some ideas for adding more movement to your day.
- Use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.
- Take frequent breaks throughout the day for small bouts of movement.
- If you can, walk to work instead of driving or park your car a bit further from where you are going.
- Make movement social by exercising with a friend, team or your family.
- Try adding some time into your schedule for movement. E.g. Using your lunch break to do some exercise.
- Be more active on the weekend, on days off or when catching up with friends. E.g. go for a bushwalk or play football in the park.
- Break up long periods of sitting or screen time by standing up every 30 minutes.