Improving Fitness May Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

Improving Fitness May Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

Men who improve their fitness might lower their odds of getting prostate cancer, according to a new Swedish study.

Specifically, improving cardiorespiratory fitness by 3% or more annually over three years reduced the chances of men developing prostate cancer by 35%, compared to those whose fitness dropped by 3% each year. 

Cardiorespiratory fitness is a measure of how the heart and lungs deliver oxygen to muscles during exercise. 

The decrease held true no matter how fit the men were at the beginning of the study period, according to the findings published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Study researchers from the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences looked at information on more than 57,000 Swedish men enrolled in a health database that began in 1982. The men took at least two fitness tests to measure how much oxygen they used during vigorous exercise – more meant better fitness.

Men rode stationary bikes in the tests. Results were compared to those of men who later developed the disease. NBC News reports that 113 of every 100,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. 

This shows that “no matter what age, no matter where you are in your life or your relative fitness, that if you improve your fitness, even by a relatively small amount, you may significantly decrease your risk of developing prostate cancer,” said William Oh, MD, of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, to NBC News. He was not involved in the study.

Researchers say jogging, hiking, and swimming are good exercises, as well.

“They want to aim for more vigorous intensity activities — that’s activities that we would do and we would struggle to maintain a conversation with a friend,” said Kate Bolam, a co-author and researcher at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences.“It could be line dancing if that gets your heart rate up and you think it’s fun and you’re going to do it regularly.”

ALSO READ  Exercises for Better Sleep

Previous research has linked exercise to a lower risk of cancer in general. 


Most read