When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, it’s already a known fact that physical activity goes hand in hand with proper eating habits. Apart from physical benefits, doing sports inevitably has several advantages concerning mental and emotional health, too. There is a number of sports that incorporate both physical and mental enhancement crucial for healthy living and wellness. Here are some fantastic types of sports which will improve your longevity and boost your brain.
Research has shown that moderate intensity physical activity like running is a safe path to a long life. This kind of physical activity helps in releasing chemicals like endorphin, the mood boosting hormone, without being too intense and demanding for the body and the mind, especially for beginners or non-sporty types. Jogging is a great blend of moderately intense exercise and a never-dull, fun activity.
Jogging is a rhythmic, repetitive, consistent movement, which gives the brain relief from ruminative thinking ( thinking repetitive, unhappy thoughts). You may feel uncomfortable and exhausted at the beginning. However, over some period of time the body starts to work hand in hand with the mind and it becomes less and less physically demanding.
After the physical distress is removed and will power is strong, the exercising becomes fully enjoying and pleasant and its true properties are revealed. Once you turn it into a routine, you will actually crave exercise. In fact, studies have demonstrated that low to moderate intensity exercising is similar to cognitive therapy in helping with issues related to depression.
Tennis and Racket Sports
In a study published in 2017 more than 80,000 British men and women found that those who played racket sports tend to outlive those who jogged. Although there is a link between moderate and low pace activity and longer lifespan, high-intensity interval training (HITT) may be the key to longevity. It includes alternating between bursts of intense activity and short rest. This kind of workout is very beneficial for preserving the cardiovascular system and has been shown to reverse the signs of aging on a cellular level.
Tennis is a perfect example of HITT training, since it consist of high-demanding movement around the court which engages all of the muscles, but there are also short periods of rest between each point. This so called white sport is also very mentally demanding, it requires sharp concentration and almost meditative-like focus. Not to mention the strategy and planning involved. Although it isn’t a team sport, there is the social aspect of it, since competing is included and it is usually fun to play recreational tennis with friends and organize small competitions on your own.
Team Sports and Longevity
Researchers point out that social, team sports, like baseball, football, basketball, hockey, volleyball and more are better for enhancing life expectancy than solo sports. The social aspect of playing sports is also important for building self-esteem, confidence and self-worth. Depending on someone and being important to others creates a sense of acceptance and belonging to a community. If played safely and fair, team sports can be an amazing way of bonding and getting closer to people you may not have the opportunity to truly meet in other circumstances, like your colleagues or acquaintances.
An important aspect of playing team sports is safety and comfort, since group sports can sometimes get rough and dangerous. There are websites like Bat Critic and others which provide useful insight into what’s needed and required in terms of proper sports gear and equipment.
Although relaxing and not so demanding at first glance, golf actually requires a lot of energy and involves some important physical exercise. This moderate intensity physical activity is actually beneficial for the cardiovascular system and is proven by research to decrease risk of coronary heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory problems, high levels of cholesterol and more.
In addition, all of it is done outside, on a large field of green grass in beautiful nature and fresh air, which is a health booster on its own.
Golf may not be strategically demanding or hard to figure out, but the simplicity of it actually means focusing on the subtle movements of hands, precise positioning of arms, legs and body, and most importantly, full attention and concentration. This kind of mental exercise improves psychological maturity, prologues mental health and stability and keeps the illnesses away.
It’s already very clear that achieving a healthy and long life is like a puzzle that doesn’t make sense without all of its pieces: balanced diet, smart life choices and, of course, regular exercising. While any kind of exercise is better than no exercise, some sports have shown to be more productive and beneficial than others in enhancing life expectancy, so why not try them out?
The Carousel would like to thank David Barnes for his contribution.