Almost everyone knows walking is the easiest way to get a little exercise. All you have to do is grab a pair of comfortable shoes, pick a direction, and go. Most people, however, don’t realize just how beneficial walking can be, especially for women. A recent study of over 73,000 postmenopausal women has shown that walking can lead to a decreased risk of breast cancer. In fact, that study states that one hour of walking per day led to a 14% reduced risk, and one hour of strenuous physical activity was associated with a 25% reduced risk.
Finding ways to exercise might be difficult for women who lead sedentary lifestyles. Acquire a comfortable pair of walking shoes, and be creative in finding ways to fit walking into your day. One way to include walking would be to park farther away when grocery shopping. Another way would be to walk with young children or small dogs. An innovative idea would be to purchase a treadmill desk for use in the home while using the computer. Many people also invite friends to walk with them instead of walking alone. This helps to increase motivation and creates a great support structure for all the people involved.
Walking about three miles per hour, or a 20 minute mile, is an easy speed for reducing the risk of breast cancer by 14%. To increase that percentage to 25, light jogging at four and a half miles per hour is sufficient. In the United States, about one in eight women will develop the disease in their lifetime. Those statistics should encourage women to exercise just to lower their risk. Breast cancer risk is related to a lifetime of estrogen exposure, and as a woman ages, the estrogen levels will continue to increase if a regular exercise program is not maintained.