The evidence is in and it's convincing. Colon cancer is one of the most studied cancers examined in relation to exercise.
Study after study, both national and international, consistently shows that the link between exercise and low risk of colon cancer is undoubtedly strong. Exercise also improves survival of colon cancer. Active people cut their risk of colon cancer by about 30%. In fact, the journal Sports Medicine found that about 12-14% of colon cancer cases can be due to lack of regular exercise.
Exercise may reduce the risk by:
- preventing tumor growth
- reducing the amount of time the colon is exposed to carcinogens
- promoting healthy and protective changes in digestive acids
- decreasing body fat and decreasing insulin levels
- reducing chronic bowel inflammation
- stopping constipation
- enhancing the immune system
Does your exercise program have room for improvement? Try to vary it up. Include aerobic exercise, such as running, swimming, or biking, with strength training and flexibility training.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012;104:1548–1561
Sports Med. 2004;34(4):239-52.