It’s safe to say we’re all well-versed in the positive effects of exercise — from overall mood to the obvious physical benefits, getting active is important in all aspects of our lives. But a new study finds that maintaining an exercise routine may actually reduce the risk of 13 different types of cancer.
The research is pretty massive, with the team looking at the health profiles of 1.4 million people across the United States and Europe over the course of 11 years. Study participants were asked about how much vigorous exercise they logged in their free time as well as overall physical activity.
With over 186,000 cancer cases diagnosed among those involved in the study during this period, researchers took a closer look at any common threads among participants. They found that those who were placed in the top 10 percent in terms of higher levels of exercise appeared less in danger of being diagnosed with 13 types of cancer than those who were in the bottom 10 percent of the fitness scale.
These cancers include Esophageal (a whopping 42 percent lower risk), Liver (27 percent lower risk), Lung (26 percent lower risk), and Kidney (23 percent lower risk), among others. Those are pretty impressive numbers in exchange for some exercise.
There are two types of cancer that avid fitness seekers actually seemed to be more at risk of – prostate cancer and malignant melanoma, the latter of which researchers assume is due to increased sun exposure (even more reason to slather on that sunblock during your daily run).