Parents of teenagers already have their plates full, trying to keep their children healthy, safe and on track academically. But now parents can add the word “fit” to that list, as new evidence suggests that exercise during adolescence affects an individual’s risk for certain cancers in adulthood.
Teens who exercise decrease their risk of developing a deadly form of brain cancer as adults, according to a recent study conducted by the U. S. Cancer Institute. Researchers at the Institute’s Nutritional Epidemiology Branch examined the relationship between the development of gliomas, a common form of brain and nervous system cancer, and the lifestyle habits of nearly 500,000 subjects. Researchers did not find a link between exercise during adulthood and an increased risk for cancer. But subjects who reported that they had been physically active during adolescence were less likely to develop the tumors. Medline Plus reported the findings.
“Those who’d reported doing substantial amounts of light, moderate and vigorous exercise between the ages 15 and 18 were 36 percent less likely to develop glioma than those who were sedentary. Activities included walking, aerobics, biking, swimming, running, heavy housework or gardening.”
While some students participate in after-school sports during their teen years, many more remain sedentary. MedicineNet reports that participation in sports and exercise suffers a sharp decline as teens progress through high school.
- Nearly half of American teens get no regular vigorous exercise
- Only 19 percent of all high school students participate in daily physical education classes
- Inactivity is more common among females than males
The study on gliomas only adds to the substantial evidence which supports the importance of physical activity during adolescence. Benefits of exercise during this critical growth stage are well substantiated. The American College of Sports Medicine reports a number of significant benefits.
- Increased energy
- Healthy body weight
- Prevention of some forms of cancer
- Prevention of heart disease
- Prevention of osteoporosis
- Improved academic performance
While the idea of exercise during adolescence is a good one, trying to get a teen to exercise can be a challenge. Visit GetYourRearInGear.com later this week for specific ideas for getting the teens in your home to be more active.
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