Benefits of Running Include Lower Rates of Cancer and Early Mortality

February 07, 2023

By Naomi Cook

Benefits of Running Include Lower Rates of Cancer and Early Mortality  

Running is often linked to proper metabolism, heart health, and physical fitness. Still, some research studies have pointed out its capacity to prevent cancer and other mortal-related cardiovascular problems.

It's clear that committing some time in a week to running can tremendously affect cancer-causing cells and hormones and help keep you healthy. The best part is you only need to log a few miles a week, at a moderate intensity, and don't even have to do it outside as buying a treadmill will serve you right too. Read along to find out how running is beneficial in keeping off cancer and preventing fatal health complications.

Helps in Weight, Leptin, and Estrogen Reduction

One of the key reasons most people include running in their exercise routine is its excellent effect on losing weight. Hormones such as estrogen and neuropeptide cytokine leptin which are generated in fat cells, especially in postmenopausal women, are known to promote cancer.

Leptin, in particular, enhances angiogenesis and the proliferation of cells, promoting breast cancer. It also promotes cancer through association with insulin signaling pathways and estrogen, explaining the close links between adiposity, leptin, and hormone-related cancers like ovarian and breast.

Coordinated exercises like running help lose weight, which lowers leptin and serum estrogen levels—two major cancer-causing hormones. It also raises the levels of adiponectin, a hormone that reduces the likelihood of growth of cancer cells, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

It has been shown that every 100 minutes of exercise reduces serum estrogen by 3.6%. Research also shows that people who gain weight after cancer treatment develop more severe complications and have a poor survival rate. Running could therefore be pivotal to your overall health even after recovery from a severe illness.

Running Can Help Regulate Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1)

Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-), (a hormone that regulates the effects of growth hormone in the body) binds with its tyrosine kinase receptor to activate multiple signaling pathways, which promote angiogenesis (development of new blood cells) and cell growth while inhibiting apoptosis (natural death of body cells). High levels of IGF-1 increase tumor growth, increasing cancer risk.

An IGF binding protein, IGFBP3, has an inverse effect as IGF-1. Exercise such as running increases the levels of IGFBP3 and lowers the amounts of IGF-1 in the body, reducing the risk of cancer deaths. Lower levels of IGF-1 I active cancer patients have also been shown to improve survival, which can be attained through rigorous and active activities like running.

It Can Improve Energy Resistance and Act-On Insulin Resistance

Research shows that regular physical activities such as running improves glucose metabolism pathways and insulin sensitivity. Hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, closely related to insulin resistance, are linked to a high risk of cancer and relapse after the first treatment. In addition, high levels of a marker of insulin secretion, C- peptide, increases the risk of CaP mortality by over 2-fold.

Another risk factor associated with insulin resistance is the resistin hormone. It is a cysteine-rich hormone with low levels of adipose and increases with insulin resistance. It promotes inflammation in cells by up-regulating pro-inflammatory cytokines, promoting the risk of occurrence and multiplication of cancerous cells in the body.

It Helps in the Moderation of Testosterone

Research has linked low levels of testosterone with cancer. Testosterone levels can change after an exercise like running, depending on factors like age, fitness level, and one's mood during training. Testosterone levels tend to increase after intensive exercise. Though this could also be a concern as high testosterone levels can also lead to prostate cancer, the over-accumulation of serum testosterone is short-lived.

It lasts only 20-60 minutes after the exercise and returns to optimum levels. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise lowers the natural decline in testosterone rate, especially among obese, diabetic, and males suffering from metabolic syndrome.

Does Running Lower Cancer Risk?

Running plays a huge role in lowering cancer risk. A research study found people who run at least once a week had a 23% lower risk of dying from cancer. They also had a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular-associated death and a 27% lower risk of all-cause mortality.

You can reap all these benefits by committing just around 50 minutes to run each week in short segments. In addition, the pace doesn't matter, meaning you can consistently run at a comfortable speed and enjoy the health benefits.

One of the reasons running significantly prevents cancer infections and death is the effect on improving vital body functions. It lowers body fat and improves aerobic and metabolic fitness. It also improves the overall heart function, vital in maintaining optimum health and lowering cancer risk.

Incorporate Running Into Your Regular Lifestyle Routine

The physical intensity involved in running affects several systematic functions in the body that can lower the risk of particular types of cancer. It affects inflammation, immune function, insulin/glucose metabolism, and more, inhibiting the occurrence and growth of cancer cells.

Incorporating running into your schedule can tremendously affect your physical and mental health and keep you off dangerous illnesses such as cancer. You don't have to strain yourself to the limit, but be consistent.

You can develop a norm of running for a few minutes each day or on particular days of the week that are easy to follow without disrupting your regular involvements. That way, you won't find it hard to exercise and consistently cover a few miles weekly.