Sports that Will Help You Live Longer
Sports are one of the best forms of exercise for those who want to enjoy daily activity. Not only is it a great way to move around, but it's a good way to socialize and make new friends. According to a new study, it may also be a way to live longer!
A team of researchers from the University of Sydney led an international study that documented the effects of exercise on mortality and overall health. The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine
, found that cardiovascular disease-related death was much less likely among people who played sports. Oddly enough, three specific sports were mentioned: racquet sports, aerobics, and swimming.
Tennis, squash, and racquetball are all excellent sports to engage in. The fact that you are constantly moving around means your heart, lungs, and muscles are always working. If you've ever played racquet sports for 30 to 60 minutes at a time, you know how exhausting they can be. According to the study, racquet sports reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease-related death by a staggering 47%. That's higher than any other form of exercise—an excellent reason to take up tennis, squash, or racquetball.
Aerobic exercise is basically anything that involves low intensity, steady state exercise. For example, you have your classic "Aerobic exercises" like jazzercise or those Jane Fonda videos that were so popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Jogging and low-intensity cycling and treadmill work also count as aerobic exercise. Essentially, aerobic exercise gets your heart beating to 50-65% of your Max HR, and keeps it steady at that level for more than 30 minutes. The study discovered that aerobic exercise can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease-related death by as much at 27%. Regular aerobic exercise is a great way to go!
When it comes to full body workouts that are low impact and easy on your joints but push your muscles to their limits, you won't find anything better than swimming. The fact that you're in water means there is zero impact on your joints and bones. Your muscles do all the work, but the risk of acute injury is very low. For those recovering from injuries or surgeries or dealing with age-related mobility problems, swimming is an excellent way to work out. It turns out that swimming can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease-related death by 28%.
The Truth About Sports
If your goal is to be healthy, ANY sport is a good option to consider. All sports get your body moving, your blood flowing, and your heart and lungs pumping. If it's fun enough that you're not thinking about exercise, you'll find it's one of the best ways to get in shape. Sports are a great way to get out of yourself, engage in social activities, and move around. If you hate the gym or the thought of jogging for hours every week, sports provide you with a fun way to get in the workout.
The Most Effective Way to Lose Weight
The above-mentioned study pointed to the effects of sports on cardiovascular disease-related deaths, and found that these three sports are the way to go. However, sports aren't the best option for weight loss and fat burning. To get in shape, you need to engage in a combination of aerobic and anaerobic activity. Essentially, that means resistance training and cardio like jogging, running, cycling, or elliptical training. A few hours of exercise per week can make all the difference in your health!