women in pink exercising photo

Need some added exercise motivation? What if your daily workout reduced your risk of breast cancer in a real way? Now that’s simple and effective breast cancer prevention.

An hour a day of physical activity reduces a woman’s risk of breast cancer, according to new research presented at the 9th European Breast Cancer Conference. Compared to inactive women, it reduced overall risk by 12 percent.

Professor Mathieu Boniol, Research Director at the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France, reported the results of an analysis of 37 published studies conducted between 1987 and 2013. In all, the study represented more than 4 million women.

“These are all the studies looking at the relationship between physical exercise and breast cancer risk that have been published to date, so we are confident that the results of our analysis are robust,” he said on Science Daily.

Interestingly, for women taking hormone replacement therapy, the protective effect against breast cancer was cancelled out. Other studies have shown that women who took  HRT had a higher risk of developing breast cancer compared with those who didn’t take hormones. Still, exercise is a simple daily weapon against the disease.

“Adding breast cancer, including its aggressive types, to the list of diseases that can be prevented by physical activity should encourage the development of cities that foster sport by becoming bike and walk-friendly, the creation of new sports facilities, and the promotion of exercise through education campaigns,” said Prof Boniol on Science Daily. “This is a low cost, simple strategy to reduce the risk of a disease that currently has a very high cost, both to healthcare systems and to patients and their families. It is good news both for individuals and for policy makers.”

The study advised about an hour of exercise per day, which was higher than the recommendations from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, adult women need 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.

Are you getting your fill each week? If not, pick an activity that you love and have at it. This is certainly good motivation to get started.

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Image: Ed Yourdon