Let's be massively obvious for a second: Exercise is good for you. Not only does regularly hitting the gym keep you fit and performing at your peak, it also lowers your risk of serious diseases like diabetes, coronary heart disease, and even cancer. (Here are 12 More Reasons to Get Moving.)
And according to a new study from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in New York, getting just a measly half hour of exercise each week can seriously slash your rate of one cancer in particular: cervical cancer.
Researchers from RPCI looked at the physical activity habits of 128 women diagnosed with cervical cancer and 512 cancer-free women. They found that those who were totally inactive were more likely to be diagnosed. But getting just 30 minutes of exercise each week made a huge difference. Women who didn't meet this benchmark were two and a half times more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Yikes. (Psst... How Much Exercise You Need Totally Depends on Your Goals.)
The differences in risk remained even when the researchers factored in lifestyle differences like smoking, alcohol intake, body mass index and even family history of cervical cancer. Not a bad return on a quick trip to the gym.
This small amount of effort can make a huge difference, especially considering that over 12,000 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States and over 4,000 die from the disease, according to the most recent report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
So next time you're feeling unmotivated to get yourself to that early a.m. spin class, just think of all the cancer fighting benefits you'll be getting in addition to burning calories. (Good news: More Women Are Getting Tested for Cervical Cancer Because of the Affordable Care Act, which means more women can get treated and get healthy.)