From Your Health Journal…..”Today’s article review comes from Time magazine. I have been getting their magazine for years, and love their online stories, and definitely recommend all my readers here go visit their online magazine. There articles are still free, with great reporting. The story in review today is about Olympic athletes, and how they live longer, through all their hard training over the years. The color of the medal, it seems, did not matter. Gold, silver and bronze medalists all enjoyed the same survival advantage over non-Olympians. The longevity benefit also occurred across all sports, including events such as soccer, basketball, jumping in track and field, endurance activities and even power sports like wrestling and weightlifting, which provided a smaller, but still significant survival benefit. The study in this review clearly states that simply being an Olympic athlete didn’t guarantee a longer life, but showed many Olympic athletes who trained over the years had a better chance at longer life, as heredity or environment had a large impact on some subjects. In conclusion, the findings point toward an overall health advantage to being fit. Regular physical activity can burn of excess calories and keep weight in check, as well as promote healthier eating and improved metabolic function. This was an interesting article, and I highly recommend reading the complete article on the Time web site – link provided below.”
From the article…..
All that training, regardless of the sport, my pay off in extra years, according to two recent studies.
Both studies, published in the BMJ, confirm the fact that the best athletes in the world are indeed among the healthiest as well, thanks to their rigorous training regimens. And now it seems that fitness translates into a survival advantage as well.
The first study looked at the life expectancy of 15,174 Olympians from the top medal-earning countries including the U.S., Germany, Nordic nations, Russia, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The athletes all received at least one medal during Games between 1896 and 2010 and were compared to general population groups matched by age, country and gender. Overall, the Olympic medalists lived an average of 2.8 years longer than the public in eight of the nine countries in a 30-year followup.
The color of the medal, it seems, did not matter. Gold, silver and bronze medalists all enjoyed the same survival advantage over non-Olympians. The longevity benefit also occurred across all sports, including events such as soccer, basketball, jumping in track and field, endurance activities and even power sports like wrestling and weightlifting, which provided a smaller, but still significant survival benefit.
“To put this survival advantage into some perspective, it is almost as large as the difference in life expectancy between men and women, so male Olympic medalists can expect to live almost as long as the average woman in the general population,” says lead study author Philip Clarke of the University of Melbourne in Australia.
Although the authors did not investigate the reasons for the Olympic longevity, they provided a few theories. Athletes in general are healthier than the average person, and Olympic athletes are among the fittest specimens of healthy eating and physical fitness. Part of that fitness could be due to genetics, but their training environments likely amplify any potential genetic advantages, especially if they join more intensive national training programs. It’s also possible that the wealth and fame elite athletes enjoy provides them more opportunities to follow a healthier lifestyle, since they might be able to access the highest quality diet and fitness regimens to keep them healthy. “Evidence strongly indicates that higher socioeconomic status is associated with lower mortality. Improved nutrition, education, and access to medical services all mediate this effect,” the authors write.
To read the full article…..Click here