A healthy diet, maintaining balanced BMI and quitting our bad smoking habit can all lead to healthy living. However, there is one other secret weapon to healthy and happy living. It's sports.
According to a research published in the British Journal of sports medicine, men who play sports involving endurance tend to live longer and happier compared to their brothers in the same demographic.
It was concluded that “Former elite athletes are more physically active, smoke less, have better self-rated health and live longer than their brothers. Genetic differences between athletes and brothers, aerobic training for endurance elite sports and a healthier lifestyle may all contribute to reduced mortality.”
This research examined the health-related habits of 900 Finnish former athletes and concluded that athletes lived 2-3 years longer than their non-athlete brothers. In another article “Do Elite Athletes Live Longer? A Systematic Review of Mortality and Longevity in Elite Athletes.”, by Lemez.S and Baker.J concluded that “Baseball, football, soccer, basketball, and cycling had the most reported data on elite athletes' lifespan longevities. A variety of mechanisms have attempted to explain mortality risk (e.g., handedness, playing position, achievement, etc.). Considerable support was found for superior longevity outcomes for elite athletes, particularly those in endurance and mixed sports. “
Research such as these only strengthens our belief that playing sports helps us live longer, healthier and happier. Aren’t these the basic expectations we all have? I am sure we do. Even if you haven’t given it a thought yet, it shouldn’t stop you from tying up your sports shoes, getting to the field in your jersey, playing hard and having fun. Nevertheless, playing sports with just an intent of having fun will only cause health benefits, reduce stress, live longer, healthier and most important of all - happier.
Journal reference: British Journal of Sports Medicine