This article originally appeared on MIMI.
Engaging in regular physical activity has been linked to a decreased risk in breast cancer. But a new study puts a hard-and-fast number on the hours you should be sweating it out to reap the benefits: researchers say you should aim for five hours of exercise a week to lower your risk of breast cancer. This is twice the commonly recommended amount of weekly exercise, so it is a step up. I'm not even hitting the 150-minute-a-week-mark, so I need to seriously step up my game.
The study published in JAMA Oncology looked at participants who exercised for 300 minutes a week for a year. Although the women didn't lose a lot more weight than their workout counterparts who exercised for half that number, the former group's breast cancer risk dwindled. Why? The surge in physical activity burned more fat. This is a big deal because having more fatty tissue increases estrogen which in turn raises breast cancer risk. Exercise will also boost the immune system and keep inflammation from fat at bay.
Take this news as a way to up your workout game: you can cycle, run, walk, take a dance class, and this will all count toward your 300-week goal. But remember that anything helps. Breast cancer nonprofit, Susan G. Komen, says that even walking for 30 minutes a day can lower your breast cancer risk by about three percent. Do what you can. In the end, it's all for your health.