7 Fun Scientifically-Backed Workouts To Live Longer, Ranked

7 Fun Scientifically-Backed Workouts To Live Longer, Ranked

Yes, you’re busy.

Including a workout into your already hectic schedule is no easy task.

Your fitness however must be part of your routine. 

Research shows that adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. It must be coupled with two days of strength training per week to gain health benefits.

You become healthier, perform better, and live longer. Working out simply enhances your overall quality of life.

Still, there's that issue of time. So, wouldn’t it be great to know which activities give the maximum health benefits for your efforts?

Here are seven fun, scientifically-backed workouts to increase your lifespan.

#7 Calisthenics

No gym membership or no weights? No problem.

Calisthenics only requires your body weight for resistance training. 

Push-ups, squats, planking, and burpees are but a few popular examples of body-weight workouts.

Regularly performing calisthenics is shown to lower the risk of mortality compared to those who are sedentary. It adds about 3.1 years to your life expectancy.

It improves your cardiovascular health with exercises such as jumping jacks and burpees. This elevates your heart rate and improves cardiovascular fitness. 

Regular cardiovascular exercise is linked to reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.

It also enhances muscle strength and function by targeting multiple muscle groups. This leads to improved strength, endurance, and overall functional fitness. 

Strong muscles improve posture, balance, and mobility. It reduces the risk of falls and injuries, which can impact longevity.

In addition, calisthenics workouts can boost metabolism both during and after exercise. It could lead to better weight management and fat loss. 

#6 Jogging (Running)

This popular choice is up next. 

You only need a good pair of running shoes and you’re good to go.

Jogging can add up to 3.2 years to your lifespan.  

It’s such a hassle-free activity, you can do it on a treadmill or outdoors. Research suggests that running can reduce the risk of premature death by up to 40 percent.

Too much running however could potentially cause adverse cardiac effects. These include:

  • Increased vascular oxidative stress and inflammation
  • Myocardial fibrosis
  • Structural changes in the heart and its autonomic control

So what’s a good rule of thumb?

Running for about 30 minutes a day, five days a week is sufficient to get the maximum benefits according to the Copenhagen City Heart Study.

No need to run a marathon each time you lace your sneakers up. Just make sure you break a sweat while maintaining a good but challenging pace. 

#5 Swimming

If you’re looking for a low-impact activity to increase your longevity then swimming is for you.

It naturally has a greater logistical requirement, unless you already own a pool or have access to a clean beach.

In any case, try to find a nice public pool in your area if this activity is of interest to you.

Swimming adds 3.4 years to your life and is easy on the joints.

This refreshing, low-impact workout engages the entire body and is suitable for people of all ages. 

According to a study of over 80,000 people conducted by Swim England, swimmers had a 28 percent lower risk of early death. They also had a 41 percent decreased risk of death due to stroke or heart disease.

It aids with the development of children and reduces stress in adults. Swimming helps the elderly remain mentally and physically agile as well.

Always stay safe when swimming however in case of unexpected muscle cramps. Make sure there is a lifeguard or someone else present should you require assistance.

#4 Cycling

This is another activity that can be done stationary or outdoors.

Cycling is an enjoyable workout known for its longevity benefits. 

It doesn’t matter if you do road cycling, mountain biking, or stationary cycling.

This activity can boost your lifespan by up to 3.7 years. 

It improves cardiovascular fitness, strengthens muscles, and enhances joint mobility.

A study also found that cycling to work can reduce the risk of mortality by up to 41 percent. What a good way to sneak in your workout, right?

Again, your safety should be top of mind. Make sure that you have protective and reflective gear on when cycling outdoors.

You should also have lights installed on your bike to grab the attention of motorists.

Having a good riding buddy would not only make the experience safer for both of you but more fun as well.

#3 Football (Soccer)

Working out with others could play a crucial role in increasing your lifespan.

Research suggests that socially isolated individuals have a 91 percent increased risk of mortality compared to those who aren’t.

Fortunately, interaction with others is required to perform activities as we go further up this list.

Soccer is an 11-player team sport. Add the opposing team and that would make at least 22 people interacting at the same time.

Social interaction is unavoidable and good relations is necessary to continue playing.

It’s probably one of the reasons why playing football is found to increase your lifespan by about 4.7 years.

That, and of course the physical as well as mental aspect of it.

You need to run, strategize, and make well-placed kicks to play the game effectively.

Regardless of the outcome, everyone wins in the end because of the benefits they receive from playing the sport.

#2 Badminton

Second to the last on this list is one of two racquet sports.

Badminton is a fast-paced sport played on a rectangular court divided by a net. 

It requires you to squat, jump, and lunge as you get an intense workout.

You can play against an opponent or do a doubles match.

Badminton gets your heart racing with its speed of play. It requires quick thinking to counter your opponent’s next move or score a point.

Regular players are observed to increase their lifespan by 6.2 years.

A study found that badminton provided the following health benefits:

  • Physical - increased cardiac, respiratory, and muscular function
  • Mental - decreased anxiety and depression, improved self-esteem
  • Social - increased motivation to spend time with friends and establish new relationships

What a great way to spend your time.

#1 Tennis

At the top of the list is none other than the most popular racquet sport in the world - tennis.

It’s also ranked number four worldwide in terms of viewership at around one billion.

Tennis is not only a fun and globally followed sport but also a great contributor to longevity. 

Players can potentially access up to 9.7 years added to their lifespan.

A study by the International Tennis Federation followed individuals 45 years old or older. They regularly played tennis two or more times a week for 10 years.

The players were observed to have good or better health, lower obesity rates, and lower prevalence of heart disease.

Tennis is enjoyed across different age groups, fostering social connections and mental well-being.

It requires you to engage in dynamic movements that improve agility, coordination, and cardiovascular health. 

The competition and overall participation it promotes across all stages of life makes it a “lifetime sport”.

Time to get going

Did you find anything to include in your busy routine?

To summarize, here they are again ranked:

  • Tennis: 9.7 years
  • Badminton: 6.2 years
  • Soccer: 4.7 years
  • Cycling: 3.7 years
  • Swimming: 3.4 years
  • Jogging: 3.2 years
  • Calisthenics: 3.1 years

Working out is not just about competition or physical fitness. It's a pathway to longevity and enhanced well-being. 

The activities discussed offer a diverse range of benefits supported by scientific research. 

Incorporate any of these into your daily schedule to prolong your lifespan and improve your quality of life. 

So, grab your swimsuit, hop on your bike, pick up a racket, or lace up your running shoes.

Live longer and have fun while doing it.

Now isn’t that a sweet deal in exchange for your time?

Back to blog