Men with stronger muscles from regular weight training are up to 40 percent less likely to die from cancer, according to new research.
The findings suggest that muscular strength is as important as staying slim and eating healthy when it comes to protecting your body against deadly tumors.
A team of experts tracked the lifestyles of over 8,500 men for more than two decades. Each volunteer had regular medical check ups that included tests of their muscular strength. The men who regularly worked out with weights and had the highest muscle strength were between 30 percent and 40 percent less likely to lose their life to a deadly tumor.
Even among volunteers who were overweight, regular weight training seemed to have a protective effect, although the researchers stressed that keeping a healthy weight was still crucial for avoiding premature death.
But they added, "In the light of these results, it is equally important to maintain healthy muscular strength levels.”
Researchers said it’s possible to reduce cancer mortality rates in men by promoting resistance training involving the major muscle groups at least two days a week.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 18, 1468, May 1, 2009