How short bursts of activity stun cancer risk into retreat
(NaturalHealth365) The human body is meant to move. We know this, and it has been proven repeatedly by researchers who tout its effectiveness for weight loss, improving mental health, increasing longevity, and combating the effects of aging. However, a recent study adds to this list, showing that short bursts of physical activity (1-minute increments or less) in adults who don’t usually exercise may decrease their cancer risks.
What is exceptional about the type of activity studied is that you aren’t likely to find it at the gym – not in its organic form, anyway. That’s because it isn’t your traditional organized exercise type. It’s called vigorous intermittent lifestyle activity, or VILPA, and includes activities like stair climbing and walking very fast.
Research reveals how just a few minutes of vigorous exercise a day can thwart cancer’s plans
The researchers in the study accessed the UK Biobank and analyzed data on 22,398 non-exercising adults. Each participant in the study was given an accelerometer to wear on their dominant wrist. The device was used to record VILPA of up to one and up to two minutes and performed multiple times daily.
They conducted a mean follow-up at 6.7 years and found that cancer was diagnosed in 2,356 participants. Researchers uncovered a viable link between just 4 to 5 minutes of VILPA per day and substantially lower cancer risk. In fact, 3.4 minutes of VILPA per day saw an almost 20% reduction in cancer risk compared to no VILPA. Additionally, 4.5 minutes per day of VILPA showed a 32% reduction in the incidence of cancers.
Strategies to infuse more VILPA into your life to slash your cancer risk
Here are some simple lifestyle changes you can implement to increase VILPA and help lower your cancer risk:
- Stairway to health: Opt for stairs over elevators whenever possible. Take the opportunity to briskly climb a flight of stairs for a minute or less multiple times a day.
- Power walk moments: Find occasions to walk briskly, whether it’s during a phone call, while waiting for your coffee to brew, or when catching up with a friend. These short walks can accumulate throughout the day.
- “Deskercise” breaks: Incorporate quick bursts of activity at your desk. Stand up and do leg lifts, desk push-ups, or simply march in place for a minute at regular intervals.
- Parking lot power: Opt for parking spaces farther from your destination. Use the opportunity to engage in a short bout of brisk walking to and from your car.
- Every step counts: Aim to increase your overall daily steps by taking short, purposeful walks. Whether it’s a stroll around the block or a walk in the park, these brief excursions add up.
The beauty of VILPA lies in its personalized nature, allowing you to tailor your activities to your preferences. These short bursts can be seamlessly integrated into daily life, contributing to an elevated heart rate and improved health.
Just three 1-minute episodes of VILPA each day can make a notable difference, showcasing the accessibility and effectiveness of this approach. So, consider these simple strategies to effortlessly incorporate VILPA into your daily routine, taking meaningful steps towards reducing your risk of cancer.
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