Health Notes: Kettlebells continue reign; the why behind exercise reducing breast cancer risk

In this round of Health Notes read about why exercise prevents breast cancer and why kettlebells continue to kick butt.

Exercise proven to lower cancer risk

We’ve heard time and time again that exercise prevents all kinds of potentially deadly diseases, from diabetes to breast cancer. Now results of a study that recently ran in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention provide evidence on why increased exercise translates to lower breast cancer risk for women.

The researchers from the University of Minnesota studied 391 healthy but sedentary pre-menopausal women, 212 of whom were placed in an exercise group that did 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise, five days a week for months.

The other group continued the sedentary lifestyle. Comparing urine samples collected from all participants — once before the study and another time afterward — researchers found that women in the exercise group had an increase in the protective estrogen metabolite ratio (which wards off cancer). Those in the sedentary group did not.

So what? More young women are being diagnosed with breast cancer, and though survival rates seem to be improving, prevention is critical. Communicating to your customers that exercise can help increase hormones that protect against breast cancer can be worthwhile.

For the scientifically minded: Find the study abstract here.

Kettlebells proven to be more than a one-trick pony

One doesn’t really expect to get aerobic exercise from strength training or strength from aerobic exercise, but according to a study done at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science, you can get all those workouts wrapped into one kettlebell class.

Researchers at the university studied 30 healthy, fit male and female volunteers ages 19 to 25, 18 of whom were put into a group that worked traditional hour-long kettlebell classes. The others were not. Subjects’ fitness parameters were tested before the study and again afterward. Results showed the kettlebell group improved all around, including a surprisingly high 70 percent increase in abdominal core strength.

So what? There’s ample reason to keep selling kettlebells — according to the American Council on Exercise, “Kettlebells kick butt.” They’re efficient, effective and combine all types of workouts into one.

For the scientifically minded: Find an overview of the study here.