We all know we ought to be eating healthily and exercising more if we want to improving our chances of living longer. But, it now appears that some forms of exercise might be better than others when it comes to increasing our longevity.
Latest research has suggested that exercise could reduce the risk of death by almost a third and that some sports are more beneficial than others.
The research was carried out by Dr Pekka Oja of the UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research in Finland, who said while there was lots of evidence about the benefits of physical activity, he wanted to look at how different sports could benefit health.
He and his team of researchers looked at information from more than 80,000 people from England and Scotland, over a nine year period. Participants were asked to fill out a survey about their exercise habits, medical history and lifestyle.
About half said that they were physically active to recommended levels and where then asked to list sports they took part in. After nine years, the team then counted up the number of deaths which had happened.
They found that any exercise at all was better than doing none. Anyone who was active in some way, lowered their risk of death by 28 per cent. However, there were three sports which stood out for even higher decreases in the risk of death from heart disease and other conditions.
Swimming was one of the most popular sports as well as being one of the most beneficial for health. Meanwhile, racquet sports and aerobics were also said to be particularly effective at increasing lifespan.
Researchers put the findings down to the fact that all three of these sports are full body sports, which require input from a large number of muscle groups.