We all know that exercise is important if you want to live longer, but are all activities created equal? New scientific findings have discovered that certain sports and movements may have a slight edge when it comes to increasing your lifespan. The good news: They’re all incredibly fun, and several are easy to incorporate into your existing routine!
According to a new study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers looked at over 8,500 participants’ sports and leisure activities over the course of 25 years. There were seven exercises that scientists found were consistently tied to people who lived an average of three to almost 10 years longer. Those activities included:
- Tennis: 9.7 years
- Badminton: 6.2 years
- Soccer: 4.7 years
- Cycling: 3.7 years
- Swimming: 3.4 years
- Jogging: 3.2 years
- Calisthenics: 3.1 years
Researchers are still looking at the exact link between these exercises and overall health since the data they received was self-reported. But they generally found that activities that were more social in nature, like tennis, badminton, or soccer, tended to be connected to longer lifespans. Previous studies also back up this claim that the more social you are — and the more social your exercise regimen — the longer you’ll live due to the importance of interaction with others for overall health and well-being.
Plus, it’s great to see that some of these activities, like cycling and swimming, can be modified for lower impact and will go easier on your joints as you get older.
If you want to give some of these exercises a try, there are plenty of ways to do it. You may be intimidated by jogging, for example, but hopping on an elliptical can give you many of the same benefits. Or, maybe you just try wading around your neighborhood swimming pool before committing to swimming laps. Regardless, it never hurts to take up a new hobby and find an exercise that can help you live longer!