Do you want to pick up a new sport? Well maybe you should take a crack at one that will not only get you active, but also extend your lifespan. Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that three sports seem to lead to an increased lifespan compared to other forms of getting your fitness. These sports are: tennis, swimming, and dance. So if these are already your go-to hobbies, then keep going. If not, maybe you should consider picking up a racket, putting on your swim trunks, or your dancing shoes.
The study surveyed 80,000 adults aged 30 and up concerning the type of fitness activity they had done within the last four weeks. The researchers maintained their study for about nine years and found interesting results. Of the participants who lived past the research period, it seemed that those who were involved in racquet sports, swimming, and aerobics (dance) were the ones least at risk of death.
Even after factoring in age, gender, and medical history, the results showed that those who played racquet sports (tennis, badminton, squash) were 47 percent less at risk of death from any cause. They were even 56 percent less likely to die from heart disease or stroke. In addition, people who swam were 28 percent less likely to die from any cause; and those who participated in aerobics were 27 percent less likely. Swimming helped prevent heart disease by 41 percent and aerobics helped by 36 percent.
Moreover, another interesting finding was that cycling lowered participant’s risk of death by 15 percent—but didn’t protect against heart disease.
So what are you to do with these results? Quit your current hobby and switch to something that will help you live longer? Not exactly. While adding some tennis or dance to your fitness routine could help, it’s more important that you stick to exercising in any form. Considering the motivation that any fitness activity necessitates, you simply want to keep yourself excited and ready to exercise. Only 44 percent of studied participants met the national guidelines for physical activity, so there is certainly that factor at play. If you like swim, keep swimming, if not then don’t try to force yourself.
No matter how you get your exercise, it’s simply imperative that you stay physically active in order to combat heart disease, stroke, and all other negative health factors. If you don’t yet play a sport or want to try something new, then perhaps you might consider picking up tennis or swimming. So long as you are continuing regular physical activity, that is far better than doing nothing.
These results help draw a precedent for future studies and fitness routines around the world. For example, you may not enjoy squash, but you could try doing interval sprints to somewhat simulate the cardiovascular workout.
Get your workout in whatever way you can and if you really want to get your fitness plan to the point of best results, talk to a health professional about how you can best meet your needs.
Good luck and stay healthy!