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Super-fit cut cancer risk

Wednesday July 29th, 2009

Men who keep themselves super-fit can halve their risk of developing cancer, researchers reported yesterday.

Men who want to boost their chances of staving off cancer need to exercise with at least moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes a day, according to Finnish researchers.

The findings come from a study of more than 2,500 men aged between 42 and 61, conducted over 16 years.

During the 16 years some 181 men died from cancer. Overall the men in the research were active - spending an average of 462 minutes a week or 66 minutes a day on activity.

Researchers found the main benefit of exercise was in preventing lung cancer and cancers of the digestive system.

Intensity of exercise was measured through the amount of oxygen consumed. The reseachers found that jogging outstripped all other activities in intensity - and was judged as nearly twice as intensive as swimming for consumption of oxygen.

Cycling was found to be less intensive than swimming and only a little more oxygen hungry than walking or gardening, according to the study, reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Researcher Dr Sudhir Kurl, of the University of Kuopio, Finland, writes: "The intensity of leisure-time physical activity should be at least moderate so that beneficial effect of physical activity for reducing overall cancer mortality can be achieved."

Br J Sports Med 2009; doi 10.1136/bjsm.2008.056713

Tags: Cancer | Europe | Fitness | Menís Health

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