Olympic athletes live longer than the rest of us - but get fit and you could reap the same benefits, health experts say
Health specialists studying the lifespan of Olympic athletes dating all the way back to 1896 conclude that elite athletes live approximately 2.8 years longer than the average person.
Sportsmen and women who practise non-contact sports such as rowing, cycling and tennis enjoy more health benefits than those engaged in other sports.
Genetic and lifestyle factors, plus the wealth and status that come with sporting success, can also help increase longevity for Olympians, the report adds.
Their findings are published on the British Medical Journal website.
But we can all benefit from increasing our activity levels, insist public health specialists Prof Adrian Bauman, from Australia's Sydney University, and Prof Steven Blair, from South Carolina University in the US. They say that a key factor in increasing lifespan for us all is to aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Genetic and lifestyle factors, plus the wealth and status that come with sporting success, can also help increase longevity for Olympians, the report concludes.
The BBC News website quotes the professors as saying, 'Although the evidence points to a small survival effect of being an Olympian, careful reflection suggests that similar health benefits and longevity could be achieved by all of us through regular physical activity.
'We could and should all award ourselves that personal gold medal.'
Thinking of taking up a new sport? Try these top club sports for first timers.
Posted: 26/12/2012 at 19:53
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