Exercise should be considered a "wonder drug" which can reduce the chances of people developing cancer, according to the chairwoman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.
Professor Sue Bailey wants to see GPs playing a bigger role in encouraging their patients to be more physically active, citing research which shows that exercise can reduce the risk of some cancers by as much as 45 per cent.
According to Prof Bailey, billions of pounds could be saved by the NHS if people did 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week.
She said that by doing so, the chances of getting bowel cancer could be reduced by 45 per cent.
Prof Bailey made the comments in a foreword to a report by the academy into the importance of physical activity.
The report says that exercise is important, whether or not it is linked to weight loss. The foreword says that exercise could cut the risk of heart disease by 40 per cent and dementia and stroke by 30 per cent.
Copyright Press Association 2015