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Study: Walking Helps Lower Odds of Breast Cancer

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Friends Mary Porter and Merleann Taylor go walking in CentralPark every day.

It could help lower their risk of breast cancer.

"It's such a healing stress reducing thing to do itreally helps me start my day," Mary says.

A new study from the American Cancer Society findspostmenopausal women whose only exercise is walking an hour a day still reducetheir chances of getting breast cancer 14 percent.

Study author Dr. Alpa Patel says, "They are walking at areally moderate pace about 3 miles an hour."

The study followed more than 73,000 women for 17 years.

It found women who engage in more vigorous exercise lowertheir risk even more – 25 percent.

"We know that physical activity is associated with sexhormones we know to be important in breast cancer," says Dr. Patel.

Current guidelines recommend adults do at least two and ahalf hours of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.But studies show less than half of U.S. women do even that much.

68 year old Merleann Taylor, whose mother and sister both hadbreast cancer, says keeping fit is a big part of her life.

"I can't do what I used to be able to do but I still cando almost everything."

Researchers say it doesn't have to be a marathon. A leisurelywalk every day can still make a big difference.