Why Just Five Minutes of Exercise Could Cut Your Cancer Risk

by | Jun 24, 2024 | Health

When asked to name their biggest barriers to better health and fitness, most people place ‘lack of time’ near the top. Between career, family life and commitments, squeezing in an hour at your local gym can often feel self-indulgent. But while negotiating half-days at the office or ‘microdosing’ childcare duties is unlikely to work in your favour, exercise is one area where a little goes a long way, particularly when cutting your cancer risk.

A report published by Cancer Research UK predicts that if current trends continue, cancer cases will rise by 122,000 a year between now and 2040. But there are ways to reduce your odds; research by the American Cancer Society suggests 42% of newly diagnosed cancers are avoidable.

An extensive new study has found that just four to five minutes of vigorous activity could lessen your chances of developing certain cancers. People who make time for regular short, sharp bursts have a reduced risk of almost a third.

Those minutes don’t need to be grouped together, either. Researchers coined the term VILPA (vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity) to describe activities of roughly 60 seconds’ duration that leave you short of breath, such as running up a flight of stairs.

READ MORE: NEW STUDY: Taking the Stairs Could Help You Live Longer

Of course, you could build this into your life a little more deliberately, too. Try performing 20-second sprints – in the park or on an air bike – followed by 60 seconds’ recovery.

Or work a few lung-busting moves such as jump squats, thrusters or burpees into your next session. Go fast, go hard – and go home sooner.

3 Quick Wins to Slash Your Cancer Risk

Drinking more than five alcoholic drinks a day or 15 a week can raise a man’s risk of multiple cancers by up to 500%. Try swapping every other beer for a low-ABC alternative.

If it’s three or above, be wary of excess exposure. Nine in 10 cases of melanoma could be prevented by applying SPF or spending more time in the shade.

Research suggests that men who consumed six or more cups of coffee per day have a nearly 20% lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

From: Men’s Health UK

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This