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Physical Activity and Breast Cancer

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Exercise lowers not only your risk of breast cancer, but your risk of heart disease and diabetes. With such benefits in mind, it's the perfect time to get your exercise get and start moving!

But just how much should you exercise? And what type of activity should you be doing?

According to the American Cancer Society, it's recommended that "everyone be active for at least 30 minutes a day on five or more of the days of the week."

If you're just starting a fitness routine, be sure to start small to avoid injury. You'll want to work your way up to at least 30 minutes or five or more days a week, gradually increasing the intensity, length or frequency as you go.

If you're already active, consider increasing the intensity, length or frequency of what you're doing. 

And if you're already active, try adding new activities to your routine. "Shocking" your body by varying your workouts will give you the best results.

Here are a few ideas for moderate and vigorous-intensity workouts to kick start your exercise goals:

  Moderate-intensity activities Vigorous-intensity activities
Exercise and Leisure Walking, dancing, leisurely bicycling, ice skating, roller skating, horseback riding, canoeing, yoga Jogging or running, fast bicycling, circuit weight training, aerobic dance, martial arts, jumping rope, swimming
Sports Volleyball, golfing, softball, badminton, doubles tennis, downhill skiing Soccer, field or ice hockey, lacrosse, singles tennis, racquetball, basketball, cross country skiing
Home Activities Mowing the law (push mower), general lawn and garden maintenance Digging, carrying, and hauling; masonry; carpentry
Occupational Activities Walking and lifting as part of the job (custodial work, farming, auto or machine repair) Heavy manual labor (forestry, construction work, firefighting)

Having a difficult time scheduling workouts? Try swapping out your daily routine with some of these activities to increase your physical output.


Active Substitution

Skip the elevator; use the stairs.

Active Substitution

Headed somewhere? Try walking or biking there.

Active Substitution

Use your lunch break to be active, perhaps taking a walk with co-workers or friends.

Active Substitution

Take a 10-minute break during the work day to stretch or go for a quick walk.

Active Substitution

Why send an e-mail when you can walk over and talk to your co-worker?

Active Substitution

Go dancing! Have a fun date night or enjoy some time on the dance floor with your friends.

Active Substitution

If you've got some vacation time to kill, try doing an active one such as hiking or kayaking instead of a road trip.

Active Substitution

Wear a pedometer to track how many steps you take in a day and challenge yourself to increase that number.

Active Substitution

Join a sports team through work or adult leagues.

Active Substitution

Watch tv while using a stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical.


 Source: The American Cancer Society

Other information:

Nutrition and Breast Cancer Weight Management and Breast Cancer The importance of breast cancer screenings Breast Cancer Awareness Month Homepage


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