A high level of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) dramatically reduces the risk of getting lung and colorectal cancer (CRC) and significantly increases survival rates. In one of the most diverse retrospective cohort studies, researchers analyzed data from over 49,000 participants with a median age of 54 years.
Those with the highest CRF levels (>12 METs, measured using a treadmill stress test) possessed a 77% lower risk of lung cancer and a 61% lower risk of CRC than those with the lowest fitness levels (<6 METs).
Participants diagnosed with cancer who were in the highest CRF range prior to diagnosis also saw great benefits. Following diagnosis, those with lung cancer had a 44% lower risk of all-cause mortality and those with CRC, an 89% lower risk, compared to those who were less fit. American Cancer Society
Takeaway: Researchers who conducted the study believe that these results act as some of the strongest evidence ever for physicians to recommend physical exercise to their patients, both those with and without cancer. They also believe that cardiac stress testing can provide vital information for cancer risk and mortality post lung and CRC cancer diagnosis. Most importantly, if you’re not moving daily, get going: start with a brisk 10 to 20 minute walk each day and build from there!