Can Your Workout Reduce Your Risk of Cancer?

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Can Your Workout Reduce Your Risk of Cancer?

Research suggests men can lower lung and colon cancer risk with exercise

In case you needed more reason to get off the couch, new research shows middle-aged men with a high level of cardiovascular fitness have a lower incidence of lung and colon cancers. They’re also less likely to die from their cancer.

The study, from the University of Vermont, measured cardiovascular fitness in more than 13,000 middle-aged men between 1971 and 2009 to see what effect exercise would have on colon, lung and prostate cancer rates and the risk of death from cancer.

Researchers found middle-aged men with high fitness levels had lower risk for lung and colon cancer cancer, but not prostate cancer. Men who were more physically fit had a 55 percent lower risk of lung cancer and a 44 percent lower risk for colon cancer compared to their less fit counterparts.

They also found that study participants with high level cardiovascular fitness may have a lower risk of death if diagnosed with cancer later. Middle-aged men with high fitness levels were associated with a 32 percent lower risk for cancer death among men who developed lung, colorectal or prostate cancer at an older age compared with men who weren’t physically fit.

While there’s a well-established association between fitness level and heart disease, this study’s findings are the first to demonstrate a link between cardiovascular fitness level and specific cancer incidences.

More and more research is piling up to show the importance of physical activity in preventing cancer. Some studies suggest that if you exercise regularly, you’re less likely to get some cancers, while others show if you have a sedentary lifestyle, you’re more at risk for developing cancer.

Photo: Depositphotos

BHM Edit Staff