Women who work out are three times less likely to die of breast cancer says a study conducted by University of South Carolina researchers.
The study indicated that aerobically fit women are three times less likely to die of the disease than those who seldom exercise.
For the study, researchers examined 14,000 women who were given preventive medical exams and treadmill tests at the Cooper Clinic in Houston from 1970-2001.
At the time of their exams, the women, ages 20 through 83, had no history of breast cancer.
Based on the treadmill tests, the women's fitness was classified as low, moderate or high.
Researchers compared the fitness levels of the 68 women in the study group who had died of breast cancer through 2003.
"Women in the study's lowest fitness category were nearly three times more likely to die from breast cancer than women in the most fit group," the Daily Telegraph quoted Dr. Steve Blair, a USC researcher and a past president of the American College of Sports Medicine, as saying.
To reach the moderate fitness category, women need to exercise about 150 minutes per week. High fitness translates to 300 minutes per week.
"Finding a strong association between fitness, which can be improved by the relatively inexpensive lifestyle intervention of regular physical activity, such as walking, is exciting," Blair said.
The study has been reported in the April issue of the scientific journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.