Long-term research: Sporty people age much more slowly

Long-term research: Sporty people age much more slowly

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Doctors are studying the effects of sport on health

Exercise and adequate exercise are healthy for the mind and body. The positive effects seem to occur even with the aging of humans. A long-term study by the Karlsruhe Institute for Sport and Sport Science found that sporty people are less likely to get sick and age more slowly.

In their long-term study on health and exercise, the scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Sport and Sports Science at the renowned Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) found that athletic people age more slowly and are less likely to get sick than unsporting people.

Positive effects of sport on the human body and mind

Sport has many positive effects on people. For example, it improves the condition, strength, subjective well-being and general quality of life of those affected. But sport is apparently able to do much more. Regular exercise and physical activity can age people more slowly.

People who are active in sports are ten years younger with their motor skills

The long-term study of the Health to Participate project has now shown that people who are sufficiently active in sports remain younger from a motor perspective. To be more precise, athletes are ten years younger from a motor perspective compared to those who hardly move, say the researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute for Sports and Sports Science. This means that an active person at the age of 50 is as fit as an inactive person who is only 40 years old, explains the study coordinator Professor Klaus Bös.

Researchers examine almost 500 subjects

Sport is healthy as long as the activities carried out are not extremely exaggerated. However, the current study was the first to analyze the long-term effects of exercise on the human body. Around 500 residents of the city of Bad Schönborn have been observed for 25 years and the exact effects of regular sport on health have been analyzed.

Strength, flexibility, endurance and fine motor skills of the participants recorded

The scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Sport and Sports Science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have so far examined five different parameters for positive effects in the course of the study so far. The parameters tested included strength, agility, endurance and fine motor skills. The subjects were between 35 and 80 years old in the examinations. In addition, the doctors regularly measured the blood and body fat values ​​of the participants. In addition, the mental well-being was also taken into account and evaluated by the experts.

Athletic people fall ill less often

It is only logical that the elderly increasingly develop health restrictions, say the experts. However, the results of the study show that athletic people are less often affected by such negative restrictions in the areas of the cardiovascular system, orthopedics and neurology. But there are other negative effects, which more often affect unsporting people. For example, non-athletes would suffer from type 2 diabetes four times as often as athletic people.

Two and a half hours of exercise a week significantly improve health

Two to two and a half hours of exercise a week are enough to achieve significantly better health for those affected and to avoid any negative effects. It was also worrying that not even half of all the subjects taking part did these two and a half hours of weekly exercise or sport, which are important for their health. The World Health Organization (WHO) also advises people to exercise properly.

Sport strengthens the body and mind

The researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Sport and Sports Science also explained that the effects of sporting activity generally strengthen the body and also have a positive effect on athletes' feelings. Such people are better able to deal with stress and have an improved overall quality of life.

Sport can lead to new contacts in social networks

But sport has other advantages as well. Sport can bring people into contact with other people interested in sports and promote integration into social networks. In this way, the well-being of those affected is further increased, the doctors explain.

Exercise is important, but a healthy diet should not be underestimated

The researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Sport and Sports Science monitored the participants medically to determine the activity, fitness and health of people in middle and late adulthood and to identify changes. For example, the doctors wanted to find out why some people get sick, even though other people with the same living conditions are in excellent health. The experts were also particularly interested in the effects of sporting activities on the health of the participants. The study did not look at the effects of diet because it would go beyond the scope of the experts, the experts say. Nevertheless, the influence of a healthy diet and normal body weight should not be underestimated.

People have the right to exercise enough

If people want to be more active and plan to do more sports, cities should at least partially adapt their infrastructure, the experts advise. Everyone has the right to exercise properly. Cities and municipalities must therefore provide enough space for this, such as parks and green spaces. (as)

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