When you include the American Institute for Cancer Research in your estate plans, you make a major difference in the fight against cancer.

Corporate Champions who partner with the American Institute for Cancer Research stand at the forefront of the fight against cancer

The Continuous Update Project (CUP) is an ongoing program that analyzes global research on how diet, nutrition and physical activity affect cancer risk and survival.

A major milestone in cancer research, the Third Expert Report analyzes and synthesizes the evidence gathered in CUP reports and serves as a vital resource for anyone interested in preventing cancer.

AICR has pushed research to new heights, and has helped thousands of communities better understand the intersection of lifestyle, nutrition, and cancer.

Read real-life accounts of how AICR is changing lives through cancer prevention and survivorship.

We bring a detailed policy framework to our advocacy efforts, and provide lawmakers with the scientific evidence they need to achieve our objectives.

AICR champions research that increases understanding of the relationship between nutrition, lifestyle, and cancer.

AICR’s resources can help you navigate questions about nutrition and lifestyle, and empower you to advocate for your health.

AICR is committed to putting what we know about cancer prevention into action. To help you live healthier, we’ve taken the latest research and made 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations.

July 9, 2015 | 2 minute read

Why Being Active Matters for Cancer Prevention (and no, it’s not about weight loss)

The topic of physical activity has made a lot of headlines lately, with some questioning if you need to take that brisk walk or bike ride to help you lose weight. It’s an important area of research but as it continues, one point is getting lost: for lower cancer risk and overall good health, the research is strikingly clear: being active matters.

Research shows that being active lowers risk for three cancers – endometrial, colorectal and postmenopausal breast. That lower risk comes independent of weight.

And while what you eat plays a key role in weight loss, that daily walk can make a difference. It also helps with weight maintenance. That 30-minute brisk walk can still burn off your morning yogurt (about 130 calories). That’s a big deal because gaining a few pounds every year is typical as people age, and overweight and obesity is a cause of ten cancers.

Both lab and human research point to several ways in which regular activity may lower cancer risk, including:

  • Keeping your insulin and other hormone levels healthy: high levels of certain hormones increase risk of some cancers, such as postmenopausal breast
  • Strengthening your immune system
  • Helping your digestive system stay healthy and moving, thereby reducing time it’s exposed to harmful substances
  • Helping with weight maintenance, allowing you to eat more food and more cancer-protective nutrients – without gaining weight
  • Creating a healthy metabolic environment in your body and reducing chronic, low-grade inflammation, which helps to avoid the cell damage and metabolic signals that can increase cancer risk

Physical activity also plays a critical role in many other areas of health, such as:

  • Lowering risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
  • Improving energy, concentration and your mood
  • Strengthening bones and muscles
  • For cancer survivors, there is some research indicating being active can provide numerous benefits, such as better quality of life and reduced risk of later cancers

Are you active enough? Take our quiz and see.

AICR recommends that you aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate activity every day. Exercise for longer, such as 60 minutes a day, and the benefits increase. If you’re strapped for time or your just starting out, aim for bouts of 10  minutes at a time.

Government physical activity recommendations add that you lift weights, or do other muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. These exercises can help you minimize bone loss, and improve strength and balance.

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