Want to Live Long? Golf Just as Good as Cycling, Rowing

Study of nearly 10K Olympians showed high cardio doesn't help mortality
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2012 12:53 PM CST

(Newser) – Golf may be "a good walk, spoiled," but at least it doesn't spoil your life expectancy. In fact, a new study finds that heavy cardio sports like cycling and rowing do nothing to help you live longer than playing golf or cricket, reports the Wall Street Journal. Researchers looked at mortality rates in 9,889 Olympic athletes who completed from 1896 to 1936 in 43 types of sports, and surprisingly found that those who competed in intense activities did not live any longer than those who curled, shot guns, played cricket, or golfed.

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"Engaging in cycling and rowing (high cardiovascular intensity) had no added survival benefit compared with playing golf or cricket (low cardiovascular intensity)," says the study. One theory is that intensive exercise over the long-term also leads to injuries and damage that balance out the benefits of such exercise. "Over time, this will result in an accumulation of damage, which can be explained as a form of aging," says a study author. You can read the original BMJ article here. (Read more exercise stories.)

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