Colon polyps can be harmless, or a symptom-free precursor to cancer. So keeping these nasty little growths from developing in the first place is a smart way to stay healthy. Research just out finds that one of the benefits from exercising is it may be enough to hold off those cancerous colon polyps. As little as an hour of exercise weekly reduces your risk, especially if you’re already overweight or obese.

Anyone can have colon polyps, especially if you’re over 50, are a smoker or overweight, eat a diet high in fat, low in fiber, or have a family history of polyps or colon cancer.

Most often colon polyps don’t have any symptoms and are found during regular screening where they can be removed and tested. In the later stages colon cancer can be fatal, so early detection is key.

The research on polyps and exercise focused on just about 1,000 patients at a municipal hospital serving a diverse community, all of varying ethnic and racial groups, Hispanic, Asian, black and white, all middle aged and with no elevated risk for either colon polyps or cancer. Almost two thirds were considered overweight. About half were active for at least one hour per week.

A screening questionnaire helped find participants who were not at a higher risk for colon cancer. After screening colonoscopies the team from New York City’s Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital, found polyps in 33% of patients who exercised less than an hour each week, compared to 25% of patients who exercised for an hour (or more) per week.

The activity we’re talking about here wasn’t anything out of the ordinary – walking, climbing stairs and the like.

This surprisingly small amount of exercise cut the chance of adenomas in those who were classed as overweight and black. The cancer risk also went down for black study participants. Exercise, over time (a period of three years was used in the research), provided increased protection from the colon polyps.

The benefits even hold across weight ranges and ethnic groups. And while there’s been research in this area many times over, not many studies have looked at how exercise effects a multi-ethnic population. African-Americans are heavily effected by colon cancer, as are the overweight or obese.

The researchers tell us these findings aren’t anything new, but rather confirmation of what healthcare pros have been telling us all along – get moving. It’s not just good for those cancerous colon polyps, but for all parts of the body. No one knows there are benefits from exercising, though there are plenty of theories. Not to mention figuring out which exercises, and what intensity, bring the most benefit to the body. The good news is that even if you don’t have lots of time in your life… or the resources to join a gym or hire a personal trainer, simple, everyday activity can really help your body. Totally do-able for most of us.

Source by Kirsten Whittaker