The Unappreciated Role Of Muscle In The Prevention of Cancer!


Is prevention of cancer becoming a distant dream? Any discussion on exercise more often than not leads to excuses galore: I do not have enough time, I am feeling tired or I walked enough at work!  We are getting used to being fat and the size plus clothing is only helping in steering us away from worrying about the extra kilos.

Cancer is often associated with rapid and extensive loss of muscle mass and strength, caused due to improper diet and inactivity.

Overweight kills and exercise is paramount for lowering the risk for cancer! 

I advocate exercise across the lifespan and as a tool for the prevention of cancer. Maybe doctors should just write “Exercise” on patients’ prescriptions instead of medications.

Working five days a week at sedentary jobs and partying all weekend, is turning people sluggish and lazy.  There is no doubt the jobs are lucrative, but they are robbing us of the most important element called “health.”

An inactive body is like a playground for dangerous cancerous cells, increasing the risk of death from different cancers like colon cancer, breast cancer as well as tumors.  We are learning more and more about the benefits of muscle strengthening exercises in the prevention of cancer. Muscular strength is significantly and conversely associated with cancer mortality.

What Do Muscles Have To Do With Cancer?

The muscles in our body give us strength for day-to-day activities and for them to do their job efficiently; they need to be active on a regular basis. The proteins that help with the production of antibodies in the immune system are stored in the muscles.

A lifestyle with no activity results in atrophy of the muscles or shrinking, leading to reduced muscle capacity.  The health of our immune system is dependent on our muscles, and when the muscles weaken, our immune system gets damaged. A weak immune system cannot contribute to the prevention of cancer.  It is not just the immune system, but the heart and lungs, brain, blood vessels and all other important parts of the body stop functioning efficiently due to inactivity.  You will also experience age-related muscle loss as you grow older.

Strength Training Proves Invaluable

There are no iron-clad rules as to how much exercise is most effective for the prevention of cancer, but I would say strength training at least twice a week keeps the muscles in optimum health.  A stronger and more toned muscle tissue can store more protein, leading to better ability of the immune system to fight off illness and play its role in the prevention of cancer.

This is the major difference between us and our ancestors. They had an abundance of physical activity that kept their muscles strong and prevention of cancer or heart disease was not an issue for them. But we live in a technologically advanced age, where we sit and watch the machines do all the heavy work for us. In this scenario, we have to consciously make an effort to keep the muscles active with strength training exercises.

When you are toned and in great shape, you do not have to dread every phone call from the doctor’s office. Let me caution you that walking around the workplace or playing with kids is not enough to fight off cancer cells. Prevention of cancer entails going all the way with your strength training exercises.

While exercise is more effective with the prevention of muscle loss and prevention of cancer rather than restoration of lost muscle strength, people with cancer can also successfully improve functionality.