Cardiorespiratory Fitness Lowers Risk of 9 Types of Cancer by 40%, Study Finds

  • A new study finds that cardiorespiratory (heart and lung) fitness decreased risk for 9 different kinds of cancer.
  • Some cancer risk was reduced by up to 40% compared to low fitness levels.
  • Surprisingly, two forms of cancer (skin and prostate) were found to have a slightly increased risk in more fit individuals.

Physical fitness, specifically of the cardiorespiratory system, may decrease the risk of nine different forms of cancer by up to 40%.

The affected cancers include: head and neck, stomach, pancreas, liver, colon, rectum, esophagus, kidney, and lung.

Exercise and physical activity are known to help lower overall cancer risk, however less is known about cardiorespiratory fitness and its relationship to individualized or “site specific” forms of cancer. A new research study, published today in the British Journal of Sports Medicine is now shedding more light on how having a healthy heart and lungs can protect against specific forms of cancer.

The study unambiguously concludes that higher levels of cardiovascular fitness are protective against nine different forms of cancer.

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