An annual increase of 3% or more in cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with a 35% lower risk of prostate cancer, according to a study from the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden.
The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, recommends that men improve their physical fitness level to help prevent the disease.
Increased cardiorespiratory fitness reduces the risk of prostate cancer by 35%
Researchers analyzed a national occupational health profile assessment database of 57,652 men.
This information included physical activity, lifestyle, perceived health, body mass and height, as well as results from at least two cardiorespiratory fitness tests, measured using an exercise bike.
The study followed participants from the last assessment until prostate cancer diagnosis, death or until December 31, 2019.
During the nearly seven-year observation period, 592 men were diagnosed with the disease and 46 died from it.
Exercising helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer
The results showed that an annual percentage gain in cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with a 2% reduction in prostate cancer risk.
Those whose fitness improved by 3% or more per year were 35% less likely to develop the disease compared to those who had a decrease in cardiorespiratory fitness.
Furthermore, the association between increased physical fitness and reduced disease risk was statistically significant for those with a moderate level of fitness at the first assessment.
Credits: iStock/Viacheslav Peretiatko
Physical fitness helps prevent disease
Conclusion of the study
The conclusion is that improving cardiorespiratory fitness may be a viable strategy for preventing prostate cancer.
Taking steps to increase physical fitness and keeping it at a moderate level can reduce your risk of the disease. However, researchers recognize that more studies are needed to better understand this relationship.
How to improve cardiorespiratory fitness?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiorespiratory fitness is the ability of the heart, lungs and vascular system to supply oxygen-rich blood to muscles during everyday activities.
Your daily habits play an important role in improving cardiorespiratory fitness. Even the habit of climbing stairs and walking a little faster can help.
The ideal is to practice cardio and functional exercises, which include squats, push-ups, sit-ups, planks and others, as well as running, cycling, swimming, jumping rope and dance classes.
Finally, it is worth highlighting: consult a doctor and a physical education professional before starting a new training routine.