Leading an active lifestyle to reduce cancer risk
By: Dr. Niraj Mehta
If you don’t already lead an active lifestyle, it’s not too late to start
Niraj Mehta, MD
Board Certified Radiation Oncologist & Choreographer
I have always been a believer in the power of movement and its many benefits for the mind, body and spirit. It’s widely known that staying active and exercising often may help reduce the risk of cancer. And now we know that after cancer, exercise can actually decrease recurrence in breast, colorectal, and perhaps even in prostate cancer patients.
An article published in JAMA states that breast cancer survivors who exercised for more than 3 hours per week versus less than one hour per week had a 26 to 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer recurrence or dying from breast cancer.
If you don’t already lead an active lifestyle, it’s not too late to start. Movement can be as simple as stepping outside and taking a walk, going for a bike ride, or dancing in front of your bedroom mirror. The goal is to find activities you enjoy doing so that you are happy to make them a regular part of your lifestyle.
Benefits of an active lifestyle include:
- Improved brain health and cognition
- Heart health
- Better sleep
- Reduction in cancer recurrence
- Emotional and social connection – what I like to call “thrivership”
- Stress reduction
- Enhanced mindfulness and self-connection
Understanding these many benefits, and believing there was a better way to fully support my patients throughout the cancer journey, I began hosting “Thrive though cancer with dance”
events. Through these experiential workshops, I teach my patients and their loved ones that movement is the key to not only a healthy lifestyle, but a happier one as well. Today, my patients are the ones who teach me that even amid a cancer diagnosis, seeking joy and connection through movement can help them heal in so many ways.
If you are in the Miami area, and would like to experience a movement class for yourself, register for our next event here. If you live in another part of the country, check for fun local events that will get you to move your body.
About Dr. Niraj Mehta
With a special interest in restorative health strategies, functional movement and healing after cancer, Dr. Mehta is a choreographer and board-certified radiation oncologist. He focuses on strategies for enhanced quality of life using a whole-person approach and encouraging true patient empowerment. Read more about Dr. Mehta here.