Why Sweat Is Good for Colons

19 September, 2012

Exercise helps keep your colon healthy, but moderate-to-vigorous exercise -- the kind that gets you winded and makes you perspire -- may be particularly important. It can help slow down the growth of colon cells, which is a good thing; slower growth means a lower risk of cancer. So be kind to your colon by sweating to the oldies -- or to whatever it is you like to sweat to -- for at least 30 minutes a day. Bump it up to over 40 minutes or more and you'll do even better.

You know that exercise can stave off deadly diseases, from diabetes to cancer. So what are you waiting for? Get moving! Walking is hard to beat if you're just getting started. Aim for a brisk 30 minutes at least 5 days a week and when that gets easy, increase the time and intensity to keep your body challenged. Even better, add some weight work and stretching three times a week.

The protective effects of exercise on colon health seem to be greater in men than in women, but the overall health benefits for both genders are overwhelming. Other things you can do to keep your colon healthy: Make sure your daily diet contains adequate calcium (1,200 milligrams) and vitamin D (400 international units), get plenty of fiber, and limit red meat intake to no more than once per week.

SOURCES: Effect of a 12-month exercise intervention on patterns of cellular proliferation in colonic crypts: a randomized controlled trial. McTiernan, A., Yasui, Y., Sorensen, B., Irwin, M. L., Morgan, A., Rudolph, R. E., Surawicz, C., Lampe, J. W., Ayub, K., Potter, J. D., Lampe, P. D., Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2006 Sep;15(9):1588-1597.

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