High levels of fitness in middle age can help men survive cancer, a study has found.
Keeping fit reduced the chances of those who developed lung, bowel or prostate cancer dying from their disease by almost a third, the research showed.
Mid-life fitness also lowered the risk of being diagnosed with lung and bowel cancer, but apparently not prostate cancer.
The cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) of almost 14,000 US men was measured using treadmill tests and their health from the age of 65 was monitored for six-and-a-half years.
During this period, 1,310 of the group were diagnosed with prostate cancer, 200 with lung cancer and 181 with bowel cancer.
The research showed that high mid-life fitness was associated with a 55% reduced risk of lung cancer and a 44% lower risk of bowel cancer compared with men with low CRF readings.
High CRF was also associated with a 32% reduced risk of death.