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Breast cancer patients can recover faster with weight training

cancer of breastA new study has found that breast cancer survivors can reap benefits of weight training programs. Through that study, researchers at Florida State University and other institutions found that if you put female breast cancer survivors on a weight training program and fed them prunes, they could at least maintain their current levels of muscle mass and bone density.

Co-author of the study, Lynn Panton, and one of her doctoral students, Titch Madzima, are following up on that research, recruiting another group of women to participate in a study that involves personal training twice per week, followed by consumption of a vanilla bean-flavored protein drink. (Read: 10 tips to cope with breast cancer)

Panton and Madzima are trying to find out if they tweak the approach from the first study if they can eventually reverse the effects of the chemotherapy and help women gain back some lost muscle mass and bone density. 'If we can slow down that accelerated loss or reverse that process, hopefully we'll improve the quality of life of the breast cancer survivor,' Madzima said. The study was published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. (Read: New breast cancer treatment in the offing?)

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What is Breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a major problem in India. According to Dr Sumeet Shah, 'Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Indian cities, accounting for a staggering 25 to 35 percent of all cancers in women in cities! Even in rural areas, the incidence is steadily rising. In the year 2008, almost 1,15,000 new cases of breast cancer were reported in India, and about 53,000 death due to breast cancer were recorded.' Certainly more awareness is needed and many campaigns have taken place over the last few years. In this mega guide, we'll tell you everything you need to know about the disease. (Read: Breast cancer causes, symptoms, myths, diagnosis, treatment)

Why women need weight training?

Did you think only men need weight training? That if women do weight train, they end up looking bulky and masculine? Well, nothing could be further from the truth. The reason men look bulky is because of a hormone called testosterone. A woman's body on the other hand secretes only about 1/100th of the amount of this hormone secreted by men. Therefore unless a woman takes steroids, it's impossible for her to look bulky! So why do women need weight training? Here are the top reasons

It helps keep osteoporosis away

Research suggests that weight training combined with a diet high in calcium helps increase mineral density and enhances bone modelling. This is particularly important for women who are approaching menopause as their bones start decreasing in density.

It helps achieve the 'well-toned' look

Resistance or weight training helps sculpt the body better by improving your muscle tone. So, no more wobbly abs, sagging breasts or buttocks. It also tightens the skin adding to the overall toned look.

It reduces risk of heart attack, diabetes and other illnesses

According to the American Heart Association weight training helps improve cardiovascular health. It does this by lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. It also decreases blood pressure and helps prevent diabetes by keeping the blood glucose level down. It is also known to increase lung capacity which means chances of respiratory illness also decreases. Read more reasons

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