Bowel cancer – Nine best forms of exercise to prevent bowel cancer


Cancer can’t always be prevented, but scientists believe around half of all bowel cancers could be prevented by having a healthier lifestyle. One of the main parts of this is monitoring your body weight and taking part in regular physical activity. reveals the nine best forms of exercise to prevent bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK and there are around 16,000 bowel cancer deaths in the UK every day.

While bowel cancer mortality rates are projected to fall by 23 percent in the UK between 2014 and 20135 to 25 deaths per 100,000 people, there’s still a long way to go.

Learning about how to prevent or reduce your risk of bowel cancer and other types of cancer is extremely important and exercise plays a huge role in this.

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According to Cancer Research UK, moving more and sitting less directly reduces your risk of bowel cancer and being physically active indirectly reduces your risk by contributing to maintaining a healthy weight.

Exercise helps to move food through the bowel faster, which can also help to prevent bowel cancer.

Cancer Research UK explains: “The bowel helps us use the food we eat and breaks down anything we don’t need. This passes out of our bodies as poo.

“Being active helps move food through our bodies faster, and this means anything harmful in food waste spends less time in our bowels which may help to prevent bowel cancer.”

The best nine forms of exercise to prevent bowel cancer

We’re all supposed to do at least two and a half hours of exercise a week for general good health, but Bowel Cancer UK recommends a more specific routine to ward off bowel cancer.

The organisation advises: “Try to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity such as brisk walking, five times a week. As fitness improves, aim for 60 minutes.

“If you don’t do much physical activity, try starting with 10 minutes and increase the time gradually.”

Exercise doesn’t have to be about working out in a gym, Bowel Cancer UK counts the following as preventative exercise:

  • Taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
  • Walking to the shops
  • Doing the housework
  • Walking the dog
  • Getting off the bus a few stops earlier
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Cycling

Sitting down for long periods of time can increase your risk of bowel cancer, so try to be active as often as possible rather than just once a day.

Bowel Cancer UK’s experts said: “If you have an office job, try not to sit for longer than one hour at a time, stand up while talking on the phone and take a walk at lunchtime if you can.

“Wearing a pedometer or using a phone app to count the number of steps you take could really motivate you to walk further.

“Don’t forget, if you miss a few days, don’t give up, just start again tomorrow. The more active you can be, the better.”



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