Being active and social has never been as varied and interesting with the modern day sport industry offering an abundance of choice from individual to team sports, equipment and water sports, hobby and professional sports and everything in between. It comes down to personal preference in choosing the right sport activities to undertake, with many people throughout their lifetimes trying their hand at a wide range of sports.
Whether you are taking up an activity for leisure, as a social act, or as a profession, any form of movement has great health benefits for every age. There is debate among the health industry as to which sports boasts the most health advantages, which has led researchers to undertake studies examining the effects of certain sporting and movement regimes.
One particular study aimed to uncover which style of sports aid in creating longer, healthier lives. This European study spanned over 9 years and followed participants aged 30 and up on their movement sport fitness regime. Results showed that people playing tennis regularly had almost a 50% lower risk of death from any cause, and 56% reduction of risk of death from stroke or heart complications. Comparing this to a sport like Cycling, it yielded much higher life expectancy results. Additionally, sports such as swimming and dancing also graded high in terms of long-term health benefits. The results also revealed that it was not just about how often people were active, but for how long and the intensity that impacted on results. Some exercises graded high when they were of long and intense duration, others also found benefits from lower, gentler effort.
Although the results show these positive aspects, much more research is needed to control for other factors to examine entire lifestyle habits. Though it is certain that there’s no denying that any sport can be great for the heart, body and mind.
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