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A new study has revealed the importance of exercise for teenage girls. Researchers analysed data from a study conducted in Shanghai on 75,000 women aged between 40 to 70. The team discovered that women who exercised regularly as a teenager were healthier than those who hadn't. The researchers concluded that teenage girls who did a maximum of 80 minutes exercise a week had a 16 per cent lower risk of dying from cancer and other diseases. This percentage went down to 13 for women who exercised more than 80 minutes a week as teenagers. The researchers said that in general, women would live longer if they did just 15 minutes of exercise a day in their teens.

Head researcher Dr Sarah Nechuta said that even if women in their twenties, thirties and forties did not work out, doing exercise as a teen would increase longevity. She said: "In women, adolescent exercise participation, regardless of adult exercise, was associated with reduced risk of cancer and all-cause mortality." She added: "Our results support the importance of promoting exercise participation in adolescence to reduce mortality in later life and highlight the critical need for the initiation of disease prevention early in life." Dr Nechuta said that although the findings were based on data on women in China, the benefits of exercising during the teen years could be applicable to all women anywhere in the world.

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