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Exercising as a Teen Pays Off in Your Adult Years

Summary: Researchers found that women who exercised as teenagers had a lower risk of dying from cancer and other health complications.
Air Date: 8/7/15
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: Sarah Nechuta, MPH, PhD
Sarah NechutaAfter obtaining her PhD in 2009, Sarah Nechuta received postdoctoral training in nutritional and cancer epidemiology in the Division of Epidemiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in 2012.
Exercising as a Teen Pays Off in Your Adult Years
You may already know the amazing benefits you receive from being physically active as an adult.

But, recent research shows that if you were active as a teenager, that exercise has big payoffs for later in your life.

Researchers asked 75,000 Chinese women between the ages of 40 and 70 if they exercised between 13-19 years of age, and if so, how much they exercised. The researchers also looked into the participants' lifestyle habits and followed them for 13 years.

During the study, 5,282 of the women died; 2,375 from cancer and 1,620 from cardiovascular disease.

Researchers found that women who did at least 80 minutes of exercise weekly had a 16 percent lower risk of death from cancer, and a 15 percent lower risk of dying from any other causes over the 13-year period.

The study also showed that women who exercised as a teen and an adult lowered their risk of dying by 20 percent over those who didn't exercise at all.

How else is exercising at a young age beneficial to your health later in your life?

Sarah Nechuta, MPH, PhD, shares the results of the study and why starting exercise as a teenager is extremely beneficial to your health as you age.