Pink Up Special Report: Exercise can help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer

Pink Up Special Report: Exercise can help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Exercise can help people maintain a healthy weight, but it can also help to fight against certain diseases like breast cancer.

Kristen Lang is an exercise physiologist and manager of the Merit Health Wellness Center in Hattiesburg.

She said physical activity can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and recurrence.

"If you have other health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes or if you're overweight, those types of comorbidities can actually increase your risk of developing cancer," Lang said. "So by being physically fit and exercising more frequently you can actually work on things like that and improve other issues you may have."

Lang said aerobic and strength training exercises are good for patients during cancer and after cancer treatment.

"Your cardio is going to be really good for your heart and going to be good for the vascular portion of your body, your actual blood flow, and everything like that," Lang said.

The Wellness Center offers several services for cancer patients.

"They love the pool, especially during treatments if their bodies are hurting really badly," Lang said. "They're able to get in there in the warm water and they can get against some of the jets and things and do some exercises in there. We actually have exercise physiologists here on staff that offer personal training, but there also are personal trainers out there who are specifically trained and educated in helping patients through chemotherapy."

Lang said maintaining an exercise routine can be hard for anyone, but the key is finding ways to keep the routine interesting.

"Bringing a buddy with you to exercise, having someone with you in the gym, just to hold you accountable and listening to your favorite kind of music, just to break up the monotony and just make it fun," Lang said.