Which Exercise is Best for Us

The health advantages of exercise are known to everyone; it decreases the risk of heart related problems and increases life expectancy. New study sets out to understand, in the world of sports, which ones are best for staving off disease.

A number of researches over the last few years have unquestionably proven that physical activity rewards health. Sports activities have been found to reduce death rate in middle-aged and older people.

In specific, vigorous sporting activity is regarded to be the most advantages. However, to date, precisely which activities are best for long life has not been extensively examined.

Earlier researches dealing with the question have lacked strength.

Study, presented recently in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, determined to analyze the relationship between sports and death rate (which consists of cardiovascular based mortality).

Investigators designed their research to examine which kinds of sporting activity offered the strongest useful effect.

Considering data from 11 annual health surveys for England and Scotland in between 1994-2008, the research team used data from 80,306 adults with an average age of 52. Each individual was requested which activities they had performed in the last 4 weeks, and whether the activity had been sufficient to make them sweaty and breathless.

The kinds of activities that were collected included chores, like as DIY and gardening. They also gathered details about the kinds of sports they had been engaged in. The 6 most popular were cycling; swimming; aerobics/keep fit/gymnastics/dance; running/jogging; football/rugby; and racquet sports – badminton/tennis/squash.

Overall, just 44 % of participants met the suggested levels of physical activity.

On average, each individual was monitored for 9 years. While in that time, 8,790 died, and 1,909 of them died from heart problem or stroke.

Breaking the data down by sports type

Once the research had accounted for potentially influential aspects, variations could be measured between the different sporting activities. In comparison with individuals who had done no exercise, threat of death was:

  • 47 % lower in all those who played racquet sports
  • 28 % lower in swimmers
  • 27 % lower in aerobics
  • 15 % lower in cyclists.

Perhaps interestingly, cycling, running/jogging, and football/rugby were not connected with any type of protection from cardiovascular illness. Joggers and runners were when compared with those who did not run or jog, there was a 43 % reduction in risk of death from all causes and a 45 % decrease in cardiovascular risk; however, when confounding variables were adjusted for, this effect disappeared.

Few of the participants stated that they played football or rugby regularly, this may account for its lack of apparent impact on health outcomes. In addition, because these activities seem to be seasonal, even an devoted football or rugby player might have long periods where they do not play a match.

The effects of intensity

When the intensity of the exercise was examined, for some sports, the greater the intensity, the higher the positive impact on longevity. But, for other activities, there was a U shaped curve – lesser intensity was more advantageous than higher intensity or no activity at all.

Even though the intensity results are intriguing, the study authors advise that this part of the analysis involved only a small number of deaths, making the results tentative; additional investigation is essential to firm them up.

Also, the results are based on an observational study. Irrespective of this, the results add additional weight to the already weighty hypothesis that exercise decreases mortality and that any sport is better than no sport.