Friday, May 11, 2012

Why hike with kids No. 13: Prevent cancer

Hiking can lower the risk of cancer. 
Here’s another good reason o take the kids hiking: It’ll lower their risk of cancer.

Excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to at least 25-33% of common cancers, a report released earlier this year says. Researchers from the CDC, North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society co-authored the report, published in late March 2012 in the journal “Cancer.”

Other than giving up tobacco, probably the best ways to prevent cancer and death from it are sufficient exercise and keeping a healthy weight, the report said. About 572,000 cancer deaths annually in the United States can be attributed to diet and physical activity habits, including being overweight.

“You can improve prognosis and quality of life by losing weight, improving nutrition and exercising,” says Rachel Ballard-Barbash, associate director of the applied research program at NCI.

So how about a taking a hike every other day?

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.