Social connections look to be a major component of any sport’s longevity benefits.
James Bullen at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
What the researchers think the sports associated with the biggest increases in life expectancy — tennis (9.7 years), badminton (6.2 years) and soccer (4.7 years) have in common is that it takes two or more people to play them.
“The tennis players, they maybe take a beer or something else to drink after the game. They are two at least,” Dr Schnohr said.
Sports near the bottom of the list were more typically done alone, like jogging (3.2 years) and going to the gym (1.5 years).
“I go to a gym twice a week and I don’t talk to anybody. It’s very lonely in Denmark, I don’t know how it is in Australia. But it’s very lonely. You just do this and then you go home. And then you don’t get the social aspect. We think the social aspect is very important.”
There is good evidence that strong social bonds have a protective effect on a person’s health.
A study has found that sports which involve more social interaction were associated with the better longevity.
A new study finds that people who do team sports may be at an advantage over solitary exercisers.
The social interaction involved in partner and team sports may compound the plentiful benefits of physical activity, adding more years to your life than solo exercise, according to a study published Tuesday in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Tennis, badminton and soccer are all better for longevity than cycling, swimming, jogging or gym exercise, according to the research.
More at Time
Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times:
A typical elite cross-country skier will burn about 30 calories a minute during training — by comparison, a 155-pound person on an elliptical machine burns about 11 calories a minute.
Research has shown that a typical male elite cross-country skier must consume 7,000 to 8,000 calories a day — more than three times the caloric needs of an average male — to meet the energy demands of the sport. Female elite skiers must eat about 3,500 to 4,000 calories a day — about double the calories consumed by the average woman. (A Swedish study found that during the hardest training days it can reach 8,126 for men and 4,780 for women — about double the calorie needs of Kenyan marathon runners.)
What does it take to consume 8,000 calories — the equivalent of about 20 plates of lasagna or 40 scoops of ice cream — every day?