Combating Breast Cancer with Exercise

Exercise to better health at Smart WorkoutVigorous exercise of more than two hours per week reduces the risk of developing breast cancer in postmenopausal African-American women by 64 percent, compared to women of the same race who do not exercise, according to researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

People often want to know what they can do to reduce their risk of disease, and we have found that just two or more hours of vigorous activity per week can made a difference in ones risk of developing breast cancer, said the lead researcher Vanessa Sheppard, Ph.D., a cancer control scientist and assistant professor in the department of oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In this study, more than two hours of aerobics, running or similar activity over the span of a week counted as vigorous activity.

We also know from other studies that being physically active can have benefits in other diseases that occur at high rates in African-American women, such as diabetes and hypertension, Sheppard said. Four out of five African-American women are either overweight or obese, and disease control is a particularly important issue for them.

Evidence showing exercise reduces breast cancer risk has been inconsistent, and there are few that look specifically at African-American women, Sheppard said. The issue is important, she added, because breast cancer has some important differences in this community. Whereas more white women are diagnosed with breast cancer, African-American women have a higher risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer than white women do, and comparatively more African-American women develop the most aggressive form of the disease, known as triple-negative breast cancer.

We suggest that our findings, while promising, should be interpreted with caution. This is a pilot study and a larger, more rigorous study is needed to precisely quantify the effect of exercise on development of breast cancer. I think it is fair to conclude that if African American women exercise they can help take charge of their health, said Sheppard.

By Jonathan Kantrowitz

Fitness on the Go: Core without the Crunch

Most people think that you will need to do hundreds of ab crunches in order to build a strong, healthy and flexible core. Well, that’s not quite true.

The Rectus Abdominus, which is the outer layer of the abdominal wall (and where people see the coveted ‘6-pack’) is mostly affected when performing crunches. However, there are many different layers to the abdominals that need to be exercised in order to give you a strong and sexy core.

The best part about abdominal work? You can do it anywhere!Here are a few quick ab exercises you can do in between meetings, before bed,or even while commercials are on tv.

1.) Table Top 3 Count: Lie on your back with your feet off the floor, and knees bent directly over the hips. Place your head in your hands and keep the elbows wide. Take 3 beats to slowly lift the upper body off the floor one inch at a time, pausing each time while keeping your back straight and your chine up. Try not to curl your upper body and keep the chest open. Exhale while you do this. Then inhale to lower your upper body. Repeat 10-20 times.

2.) Bird-Dog Curl: Come to all fours with your knees directly under your hips and shoulder right above wrists. Extend your left leg and right arm. Slowly pull in the left knee and right elbow simultaneously and curl through the spine. Repeat 15 times, switch sides.

Learn these exercises and more at

Bird-Dog Curl

3.) Forearm Plank-out: Come into a plank position on your forearms; Shoulders over elbows, hips in line with the shoulders, and toes on the floor, with feet together. Staying on forearms, try to keep the hips still as you walk the feet out, then walk the feet back together.

4.) Side knee up: Start with a side forearm plank, making sure elbow is over shoulder,and hips are in line and feet are on top of one another. Slowly bend your top knee in, engaging the obliques (side abdominals). Lower the leg back to start position. Repeat 10 times, switch sides.

Do these exercises 3-5 days a week and you will be well on your way to a stronger, sexier core. What are you waiting for? Read these instructions one more time and hop to it!.

by: Smart Workout Team