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Doing less than 25 minutes of exercise a day could help ward off cancer, says study

Lauren Clark
Researchers have discovered health benefits from doing less than half-an-hour of daily exercise [Image: Getty]
Researchers have discovered health benefits from doing less than half-an-hour of daily exercise [Image: Getty]

With the over-indulgence of Christmas out the way and a virtuous new year on the cards, it’s likely you’ve already considered lacing up your trainers.

If you do, fear not having to find time for a workout stretching up to an hour - or even longer.

A new study has shown that less than half-an-hour of exercise a day can benefit your health.

The research, published Journal of Clinical Oncology, found doing under 25 minutes of physical activity on a daily basis could ward off cancer.

READ MORE: Risk of prostate cancer can be 'cut in half' with gentle exercise

More specifically, experts at the American Cancer Society discovered that to gain the protective perks you needed to clock up a total of two-and-a-half hours’ training a week.

This was linked to a reduced risk of seven forms of the disease – including breast, colon and kidney cancers.

The study, conducted in conjunction with Harvard University, looked at data from 750,000 participants.

Researchers measured the amount of physical activity they did, and also whether they developed particular types of cancer.

READ MORE: Working out with your partner could improve your relationship

The likelihood of being diagnosed with seven - out of the 15 cancers analysed - was lower in people who hit 25 minutes of exercise a day.

People who worked out for longer had an even more reduced risk of developing the potentially-deadly condition.

Dr Alpa Patel, from the American Cancer Society, said: “While it’s long been known that physical activity is associated with a lower risk of several cancers, less clear has been the shape of the relationship and whether recommended amounts of physical activity are associated with lower risk.

“These findings provide direct quantitative support for the levels of activity recommended for cancer prevention and provide actionable evidence for ongoing and future cancer prevention efforts.”

READ MORE: Mother credits baby son for saving her life after she discovered cancer while breastfeeding

Those who did even a small amount of exercise saw a reduction in risk of colon cancer by eight per cent, as well as female breast cancer (6 per cent), endometrial cancer (10 per cent), kidney cancer (11 per cent), myeloma (14 per cent), liver cancer (18 per cent) and female non-Hodgkin lymphoma (11 per cent).

Other participants who racked up higher amounts of time exercising were linked to an additional 9 per cent lowering in their cancer risk.

It comes as it was revealed likelihood of prostate cancer in men could be “cut in half” with gentle exercise.

The study found that light activity, like gardening and walking, could have a “far larger” impact than first thought.

Researchers discovered that men who moved the most had a 51 per cent decreased chance of being diagnosed with the condition.

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