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Being Fit Earlier in Life Means Reduced Cancer Risk Later

Being Fit Earlier in Life

Life gets complicated as we age. Our time becomes more limited as the responsibilities pile up, we have kids, we focus on building our careers, you name it.

The more complicated it becomes, the more challenging it can be to fit in exercise and focus on taking care of our physical health. You may have prioritized fitness, working out at least four or five days a week in your younger years, only to have it fall by the wayside as you age. You know that science says fitness can prevent cancer and other diseases, but it feels nearly impossible to do it consistently.

If that rings true to you, there may be some good news. A recent study found that being fit earlier in life is associated with a reduced risk of getting nine cancer types later in life.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, was unique in that it analyzed 33 years of data. Researchers followed more than 1 million Swedish men between the ages of 16 and 25 from 1968 to 2005, monitoring their cardiorespiratory fitness, and found that the higher it was when they were young, the more likely they were to see a reduced risk of liver, lung, and esophageal cancer later in life, to name a few.

That’s strong evidence for the importance of promoting exercise and an active lifestyle among children, teens, and young adults — and it also reiterates how vital it is for adults of all ages to prioritize fitness.
 

Tips for Getting Daily Exercise

There’s no time like the present to reincorporate fitness into your daily life. If you have struggled in recent years to fit it into your everyday life, following these tips may help:
 

1. Walk, run, or cycle to work.

If you live within 5 miles of the office, consider getting up earlier and commuting on foot or a bicycle. It’s a simple, straightforward way to fit in 30 minutes (or more) of exercise. As a bonus, it’s good for the environment, too!
 

2. Schedule fitness time like you schedule appointments and meetings.

Most of us live and die by our calendars, whether for work or our personal lives. Set up and schedule your exercise time or fitness classes just like you would any other important meeting or appointment. This is a foolproof way to ensure you have to get them in.
 

3. Play with the kids.

If you have children at home, create time for you all to play together as a family. Go for a walk or bike ride. Join them when they play virtual reality games. Walk around the building while they’re at their sports practice. Find any way to get moving while they are!
 

4. Always have workout clothes nearby.

You never know when you might have a free moment to fit in 20 to 30 minutes of exercise. Whether traveling or rushing between appointments and finding yourself with a (shocking!) free window of time, having workout clothes in the car or suitcase will ensure you can take advantage of it!
 

5. Turn a get-together (or even date night!) into something active.

Exercise is way more fun when you have someone to do it with you. Consider suggesting to a friend or your partner an outing that involves doing something active, such as ice skating, rollerblading, walking, cycling, hiking, or running. The minutes fly by when you have a loved one to share them with!
 

6. Sneak in mini-workouts throughout the day.

You’ve probably heard that taking breaks while at work goes a long way toward improving productivity and mental health. Well, the same goes for fitness! Use your breaks (or add more) to fit in a 5-minute “mini workout” where you do some weight lifting or take a few laps around the building. Movement counts no matter when you do it.
 

7. Change your mindset.

It’s tempting to view exercise as a chore, something you have to do but don’t want to. Try to alter your mindset to focus on the positive, what you enjoy about it, or the powerfully good feeling of challenging yourself. When you think about working out as a fun activity, you’re likelier to stick with it.

Exercising at any time in life can go a long way towards keeping you healthy and whole as you get older. Bring back your younger self by leveraging these tips to revitalize your fitness and make working out a part of your daily routine again!
 

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Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager

Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.

 

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