Do This Kind of Exercise If You Want to Live Longer, Study Says
Experts like to say the best form of exercise is whatever kind you’ll actually do. But a new study finds that people who do team sports may be at an advantage over solitary exercisers.
The social interaction involved in partner and team sports may compound the plentiful benefits of physical activity, adding more years to your life than solo exercise, according to a study published Tuesday in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Tennis, badminton and soccer are all better for longevity than cycling, swimming, jogging or gym exercise, according to the research.
“For both mental and physical well-being and longevity, we’re understanding that our social connections are probably the single-most important feature of living a long, healthy, happy life,” says study co-author Dr. James O’Keefe, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. “If you’re interested in exercising for health and longevity and well-being, perhaps the most important feature of your exercise regimen is that it should involve a playdate.”
The study was based on data from about 8,500 adults who were part of the Copenhagen City Heart Study. All of the people were white, and none had a history of heart disease, stroke or cancer, so the findings may be limited to this narrow population. They completed a comprehensive health and lifestyle questionnaire, which included questions about type and frequency of physical activity, and were monitored by the researchers for around 25 years, during which time about 4,500 died.