"Brisk walking - about 3.0 mph on a treadmill - for three to five hours per week, or about 30 minutes a day, can net big benefits for breast cancer survivors," said Dr. Carolyn Kaelin, a Harvard surgeon, breast cancer survivor and author of The Breast Cancer Survivor's Fitness Plan.
During the study, the researchers examined nearly 3,000 women up to 14 years after their breast cancer diagnosis and found that cardiovascular and aerobic physical activities reduced the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence.
It also subsequently increased the odds of living longer.
"Recurrence rates and deaths from breast cancer decreased by 40 percent among those who exercise at least 3-5 hours per week, compared with those who were sedentary," said Kaelin.
"It does not need to be running a marathon, or biking a century, but rather simply walking briskly most days on a treadmill, at a shopping mall or around a track, that further reduces breast cancer recurrence for those who have been treated for the condition.
"For all women, in addition to physical activity helping to optimize body weight and reduce high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, scientific research is more strongly pointing to the positive effects of cardio-vascular exercise in reducing breast cancer risk and the risks of other forms of cancer, too," she added.
The study is published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).