The Best Exercises for a Long Life

Exercise types linked to lower risk of death from any cause

(RxWiki News) In general, exercise can boost heart health and help you live a long life, but some types of exercise may be better than others, a new study found.

Swimming, aerobics and racquet sports were associated with a lower risk of death from any cause and a lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke, this United Kingdom study found.

This study looked at more than 80,000 patients from 11 surveys to see how much and what kinds of exercise the participants were getting. The average follow-up time was nine years.

The researchers behind this study looked at the six most popular types of exercise, which included cycling, aerobics (gymnastics/dance), swimming, football/rugby, running/jogging and badminton/squash/tennis. 

Compared to participants who had not engaged in a sport, people who played racquet sports, swam or participated in aerobics were less likely to die from any cause during the follow-up period. 

Racquet sports players, swimmers, and those who did aerobics saw even greater benefits when the researchers behind this study looked specifically at the risk of death from heart disease or stroke.

Cycling was linked to a lower risk of death from any cause but was not associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke. 

Running and jogging did not appear to be linked to a lower risk of death when researchers adjusted for other potentially influential factors. Many past studies have found long-term health benefits associated with running and jogging, however.

Since this study was an observational one, the authors of this study noted that their findings cannot necessarily establish cause and effect. Talk to your doctor about the healthiest and safest exercise types for you.

This study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study authors disclosed no outside funding sources or potential conflicts of interest.

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Review Date: 
December 1, 2016