Olympian long life 'possible for all'

14 December 2012

Olympic athletes are known to live longer because of their superior levels of fitness and extremely healthy diets, but ordinary people are also capable of achieving a similar long life.

A new study published on the British Medical Journal's (BMJ) website suggested that everyone can enjoy what has been described as the "survival advantage" if they simply meet physical activity guidelines.

"Although the evidence points to a small survival effect of being an Olympian, careful reflection suggests that similar health benefits and longevity could be achieved by all of us through regular physical activity," the authors of the report explained.

"We could and should all award ourselves that personal gold medal."

As for Olympians, it doesn't matter what country they come from, what type of medal they win, what kind of sports discipline they specialise in, all are, for the most part, more likely to live longer than the population at large.

The experts said: "Possible explanations include genetic factors, physical activity, healthy lifestyle, and the wealth and status that come from international sporting glory."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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