This Is How Much Exercise You Need To Lower Your Risk Of Breast Cancer

Hitting this weekly target can reduce your cancer risk by almost 40%.
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Being physically active can significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, research shows. And now, we know exactly how much exercise we should be aiming for.

There’s “strong evidence” that greater levels of physical activity and reduced “sedentary time” will limit a woman’s chance of having breast cancer, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Women who went for a jog at least three times a week had a 38% lower risk of developing breast cancer, the research found. There was also a similar reduction for women who were generally more physically active throughout their lifetime.

High intensity exercise like running intervals was found to be more protective than light exercise. Meanwhile, those who aren’t physically active are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Women who spent a lot of time sitting down were twice as likely to get triple negative breast cancer, which is the most aggressive form of the disease. Exercise is seen as lowering the cancer risk by helping people control their weight, controlling sex hormones, reducing inflammation and strengthening the immune system.

The study used a technique called Mendelian randomisation which calculates variation in genes to determine causal effects, which found the clear correlation between exercise and reduced breast cancer risk.

The study highlights a 40% lower risk of breast cancer for those who exercised regularly, whilst those who exercised more vigorously (three or more days a week) appeared to have a minimised risk of pre- or perimenopausal breast cancer.

“Our study provides strong evidence that greater overall physical activity, greater vigorous activity and lower sedentary time are likely to reduce breast cancer risk,” the researchers said.

Move celebrates exercise in all its forms, with accessible features encouraging you to add movement into your day – because it’s not just good for the body, but the mind, too. We get it: workouts can be a bit of a slog, but there are ways you can move more without dreading it. Whether you love hikes, bike rides, YouTube workouts or hula hoop routines, exercise should be something to enjoy.

HuffPost UK / Rebecca Zisser