Women: Here's One More Reason To Exercise
Ladies, still can't think of a valid reason to exercise? How about warding off breast cancer, which will be diagnosed in an estimated 200,000 women in the U.S. in 2004 alone? Researchers examined over 170 postmenopausal women for one year and found that those who engaged in consistent, moderate physical activity experienced a significant decrease in specific female hormones. This decrease - due largely to a reduction in body fat - in turn lowered their risk of developing breast cancer. Conversely, women that did not increase levels of physical activity experienced smaller declines or even increases in those same hormones.
Conclusion? "Exercise could lower breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women by reducing body fat and ultimately circulating estrogen concentrations," note the researchers, quoted by Reuters Health. Still, the authors note that the link between regular physical activity in postmenopausal women and lowered incidences of breast cancer remains a mystery. Regardless of whether you are postmenopausal, the benefits of exercise for women at every stage in life are undeniable.