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Exercise Increases Life Expectancy for Cancer Survivors

Update Date: Jan 23, 2014 03:45 PM EST
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Exercise is vital in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In a new study, researchers examined the effects of physical activity for cancer survivors. The researchers discovered that participating in some kind of physical activity could lengthen the life expectancy for male cancer survivors.

For this study, researcher Kathleen Y. Wolin, Ph.D., from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and colleagues examined 1,021 men with the average age of 71. The participants all attended Harvard University as undergraduates between 1915 and 1950. The men were also cancer survivors. They filled out questionnaires in 1988 regarding their physical activities, which included walking, sports, recreational activities and climbing stairs. The data on the men's physical activity levels were updated in 1993 and they were followed till 2008.

The researchers calculated that men who used over 12,600 calories per week doing some form of physical activity were 48 percent less like to die in comparison to men who only expended 2,100 calories per week. The researchers found that the most active men were 38 percent less likely to die from cancer. They were also 49 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. The researchers had accounted for factors, such as age, body mass index (BMI), smoking, diet and parental history.

"Thus physical activity should be actively promoted to such individuals to enhance longevity," the authors reported according to Medical Xpress.

Regardless of the study's findings, physical activity has been tied to reducing obesity, heart disease risk and many other health conditions. On top of exercise, keeping a healthy diet also contributes greatly to one's overall wellbeing. The study was published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health, which is the official journal of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health.

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