There are countless benefits to doing exercise from an early age. Children should be encouraged to be as active as possible because this can prevent them from becoming obese or suffering from diabetes later in life.
A new study proves that there might be more advantages to exercising than thought. It seems that exercising when you are a teenager can cut the risk of dying from cancer during adulthood.
In order to carry out the study, the researchers looked at the data collected in the Shanghai Women’s Health study which monitored about 75,000 women from Shanghai, China for over ten years.
These women had to answer questions related to their lifestyle choices, including how much they used to exercise when they were adolescents.
The most important finding was that exercising during adolescence was linked to a lower risk of mortality in middle aged to elderly women, according to Sarah J. Nechuta, who is an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center in Nashville.
Moreover, the study showed that the women who used to exercise 1.33 hours a week, on average, not only lowered their chances of developing cancer, but they also lowered their risk of dying from other causes, by as much as 15 percent.
After almost 13 years, there were about 5,300 deaths. Out of these, around 2,300 were from cancer and 1,600 from cardiovascular disease.
In addition to that, the women who continued to be active during their adulthood lowered the risk of premature death by 20 percent, regardless of the causes.
“While we found adolescent exercise to be associated with lowered risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease as adults, some associations were attenuated after adjusting for adult factors that may influence mortality later in life, such as exercise, diet, body mass index [BMI], socioeconomic status, and a history of chronic diseases,” said the authors of the study.
Nevertheless, physical activity was not necessarily associated with any other benefits regarding longevity.
Even if there are a few limitations to the study, mainly because the survey is based on women’s recollections and subjective answers, the results still show that there are numerous benefits to exercising from an early age and people should not hesitate to encourage their children to do so.
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