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Pump iron 'to cut cancer risk by 40 per cent'

world Updated: May 07, 2012 12:13 IST
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Here's some good news for those who pump iron! A new study has claimed that men with stronger muscles could cut their cancer risk by up to 40 per cent than those who don't go for weight training.

An international team, led by Sweden's Karolinska Institute, has found that muscular strength is as important as staying slim and eating healthily when it comes to protecting the body against deadly tumours.

"It is equally important to maintain healthy muscular strength levels. 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," the researchers were quoted by 'The Daily Telegraph' as saying.

In their study, the team tracked the lifestyles of 8,677 men aged between 20 and 82 for more than two decades. Each volunteer had regular medical check-ups that included tests of their muscular strength.

Between 1980 and 2003, the researchers monitored how many developed cancer and subsequently died from it. The results showed men who regularly worked out with weights and had the highest muscle strength were between 30 and 40 per cent less likely to lose their life to a deadly tumour.

Even among volunteers who had excess tummy fat or a high body mass index, regular weight training seemed to have a protective effect, according to the study, the findings of which have been published in the latest edition of the 'Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention' journal.