People who are more physically active, have a lower risk of bowel cancer. Being active can help you maintain a healthy body weight and makes you feel good.
Try to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity such as brisk walking, five times a week. As fitness improves, aim for 60 minutes. If you don’t do much exercise, try starting with 10 minutes and increase the time gradually. Exercise doesn't have to be about working out in a gym. Enjoy it!
You can be more active by:
- Taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
- Walking to the shops
- Doing the housework
- Walking the dog
- Getting off the bus a few stops earlier
Many people spend a lot of time sitting still, either at work or in front of the TV and this can affect your health even if you exercise regularly. Reduce the amount of time you spend sitting at home and at work, and try building more active hobbies into your life such as:
If you have an office job, try not to sit for longer than one hour at a time, stand up while talking on the phone and take a walk at lunchtime if you can. Wearing a pedometer or using a phone app to count the number of steps you take could really motivate you to walk further.
Don't forget, if you miss a few days, don't give up, just start again tomorrow. Physical activity can really help to reduce your risk of bowel cancer.
If you are very overweight, or have health problems, speak to your GP before beginning a weight management and exercise programme.
Updated March 2016. Due for review March 2019