All Episodes

June 17, 2024 5 mins

All exercise is good for keeping us healthier and happier -- but some kinds of exercise can actually help you live longer, too. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/which-athletes-live-longest.htm

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mark as Played
Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Welcome to brain Stuff, a production of iHeartRadio. Hey brain Stuff,
Lauren Vogelbaum. Here you might hear it. In the gym,
a burly weightlifter mutters that they could bench three of
the guys on the treadmills. A guy on a treadmill
snickers that the weightlifter could never catch him. A soccer
player says that thinking on your feed and anticipating where

(00:22):
the ball will go takes much more skill than just
doing the same thing over and over, and that she's
the most agile person in the room. Athletics demands self discipline,
and each sport develops different skills and strengths and the
people who play them, And of course getting some kind
of exercise is important for our health. But are all
sports created equal when it comes to health benefits? And

(00:44):
are some sports better at keeping the grim reaper at bay?
One of the most significant scientific studies focused on this
question came out of Scandinavia back in the nineteen nineties.
Researchers divided two thousand, six hundred and thirteen male finish
elite athletes in three groups. Endurance athletes like long distance
runners and cross country skiers, Power athletes like boxers, wrestlers,

(01:07):
and weightlifters, and then a mixed group of sprinters and
team athletes like soccer, ice hockey, or basketball players. The
researchers then compared those athletes to oney seven hundred and
twelve finished men who were not competitive athletes. The power
athletes group lived an average of one point six years
longer than the non athletes. Team athletes lived four years longer,

(01:30):
and endurance athletes lived five point seven years longer. Let's
consider what sets endurance sports apart. In another study, researchers
looked at lifespan and VO two max, which is the
maximum volume of oxygen that your body can take in
during exercise. Sports requiring a high VO two max make

(01:50):
you breed the hardest, such as running or biking, as
your body tries to get precious oxygen to your muscles.
The study showed that elite athletes had a lower chance
of dying at a given age the non athletes, but
how much lower depended on their VO two max. Indurance
athletes had a forty three percent lower chance of dying
at a given age than non athletes. Team athletes had

(02:12):
thirty three percent less risk, while power athletes whose sports
don't require a high VO two max only had ten
percent less risk than non athletes. These studies don't cover
every angle, though. The scientists gathered information about the cause
of death and age of each participant, but they didn't
consider what the participants had done after they stopped competing

(02:33):
in sports. Competitive athletes are generally young. The average age
of NFL players is just twenty seven. Studies have shown
that staying active throughout your entire life is a very
big deal when it comes to your health. So the
Dungeons and Dragons nerd who takes up running after college
and keeps at it will probably live longer than the
high school football hero who hangs up his cleets and

(02:55):
hits the recliner once his glory days are over. Not
that all D and D nerds are out of shape,
saying and don't count team sports and resistance training out either.
They may not boost longevity quite as much as endurance sports,
but they are an important part of the picture. Team
sports can teach us about discipline, camaraderie, and sportsmanship. Resistance

(03:16):
training helps reduce injuries and the muscle wasting that can
happen with aging, which reduces strength, coordination, and quality of life.
During a person's golden years. Resistance training also strengthens bones
for a healthy life. Varying your workout will help keep
you from getting bored and let you tap into the
unique benefits of different types of exercise. However, some sports

(03:37):
can actually present a threat to longevity. A sports injuries
can require major treatment and lead to lifelong pain for
some athletes. For example, repetitive motion injuries are a serious
risk in some sports and can have life changing consequences.
The scientists in England found that professional soccer players are
ten times more likely to develop arthritis in the hip

(03:58):
than the general public. Surprisingly, most of the players who
developed arthritis didn't realize that they were injuring their hips.
The arthritis was caused by repetitive motion. Many professional soccer
players require total hip replacements in their thirties or forties,
which is much younger than most hyperplacement patients in the
general population, which covers around the age of sixty five.

(04:19):
Another significant danger in some sports is traumatic brain injury,
which can be disabling or even life threatening, even if
the person is wearing a helmet. Even mild concussions can
cause memory problems, confusion, depression, and personality changes. And medical
experts still don't know the long term effects of repeated
mild concussions. The college football players with the history of

(04:41):
three or more concussions are three times more likely to
experience another concussion than their teammates, so repeated concussions are
a concern for football players. Besides injuries, some athletes do
things to their bodies that can cause more harm than good,
such as using performance enhancing drugs or trying to gain
their weight upper don too quickly or too much. All

(05:03):
sports have their own benefits and risks. It's important to
play safely, try cross training, and reap the benefits of
different kinds of exercise. If old injuries limit your options,
take up a low impact sport like swimming or biking.
The key is to make exercise a regular part of
your life, all of it for a longer and healthier one.

(05:29):
Today's episode is based on the article Which Athletes lived
Longest on how stuffworks dot Com, written by Melissa Sandoval.
Brain Stuff is production by Heart Radio in partnership with
how stuffworks dot Com and is produced by Tyler Klang.
Four more podcasts for my heart Radio, visit the iHeartRadio app,
Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows,

BrainStuff News

Advertise With Us

Follow Us On

Hosts And Creators

Josh Clark

Josh Clark

Jonathan Strickland

Jonathan Strickland

Ben Bowlin

Ben Bowlin

Lauren Vogelbaum

Lauren Vogelbaum

Cristen Conger

Cristen Conger

Christian Sager

Christian Sager

Show Links

AboutStore

Popular Podcasts

Who Killed JFK?

Who Killed JFK?

Who Killed JFK? For 60 years, we are still asking that question. In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's tragic assassination, legendary filmmaker Rob Reiner teams up with award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien to tell the history of America’s greatest murder mystery. They interview CIA officials, medical experts, Pulitzer-prize winning journalists, eyewitnesses and a former Secret Service agent who, in 2023, came forward with groundbreaking new evidence. They dig deep into the layers of the 60-year-old question ‘Who Killed JFK?’, how that question has shaped America, and why it matters that we’re still asking it today.

Las Culturistas with Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang

Las Culturistas with Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang

Ding dong! Join your culture consultants, Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, on an unforgettable journey into the beating heart of CULTURE. Alongside sizzling special guests, they GET INTO the hottest pop-culture moments of the day and the formative cultural experiences that turned them into Culturistas. Produced by the Big Money Players Network and iHeartRadio.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.