You have heard it before, and you know: exercise is good for you. It tones your body, fights deadly fat, and strengthens the muscles of your body – including that big important muscle, your heart. Physical exercise also reduces your risk of cancer, including breast cancer. Incorporating an exercise routine into your daily life will improve your breast health three-fold: it lowers stress, and we know stress is harmful to your body, and contributes to better sleep, sex and a sunnier disposition. Regular physical activity decreases unhealthy triglycerides and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. This combined effect enables your blood to run smoothly. And finally, exercise contributes to a healthy mind-body connection.
What are some good exercises to promote breast health? Here are three ways that get your moving, that also benefit your breasts.
Regardless of your fitness level, you can get out and walk. Walking is a great exercise because it can be done almost anywhere. Just strap on your sneakers, invite a friend, and hit the pavement. Up the intensity until you reach a comfortable level of exertion (you can still carry on a conversation). Try to find a route that includes some hills for an extra body boost.
Yoga is great for stress relief and incorporates the breath with movement, which can be very powerful. You don’t have to reach for a vigorous practice, a gentle one is effective. In fact, this study suggests the mindfulness inherent in yoga may provide for the best benefit.
Every exercise program should incorporate some strength training. Building muscle will create a lean body that burns more fat. Weight control is a key factor in a reduced risk of breast cancer. For breast health, incorporate some chest exercises into your routine, such as the push up, chest press and butterfly.
The warmer weather gives you the perfect opportunity to get out and get active. If you are just starting an exercise program, be sure to talk to your health care professional.
What exercises do you love?