A healthy lifestyle and good physical training are the main keys to longevity and maintaining a high life expectancy. Doing sports can actually add a few years to your life, a recent study says. However, we should be more considerate when choosing the perfect workout. Adherence to specific exercises can affect your health in different ways. Some are good for your heart, some prevent your body from injuries, and others balance your stress levels.

We at Bright Side were curious to find out which workouts could actually contribute to your lifespan. In this list, we’ve collected exercises that combat various health problems and therefore, make our bodies live longer.

1. Tennis and other team sports for greater life expectancy

A recent study carried out by researchers from The Copenhagen City Heart Study showed that people who practice team sports can expect greater life longevity than those who prefer to go solo. Experts claim that the companionship and social interaction improve your mental health and increase your adherence to the exercise.

Regular physical activity improves your cognitive skills, such as good memory and focus, when you’re older. Among the most efficient sports are tennis, badminton, and football.

2. Callanetics for efficient weight loss

In 1989, Sarah Ferguson drew our attention to callanetics when she slimmed down remarkably in less than a week of using the static exercises. Callanetics engage every single muscle in the body through small pulse movements, causing the fat cells to burn.

Pulsed crunches and side bends, long arms sit-ups, and planks are the most common callanetics exercises for rock hard abs and lean thighs. Callanetics can be performed at any age, throughout all your life to guarantee your body won’t let you down when you grow old.

3. Running for low cholesterol and a healthy heart

Studies have shown that running helps to significantly lower cholesterol levels in your body. Excess cholesterol in the blood is the main reason for cardiovascular disease. Running stimulates the production of high-density lipoprotein cells which help to keep the right balance of cholesterol in the blood. In addition, running exercises your heart, making it bigger and stronger with every beat. This can prevent your body from developing heart disease and therefore, help it live longer.

4. Anti-gravity yoga for a healthy spine

This branch of yoga perfectly represents the famous saying, “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. It helps to decompress your spine and remove tension generated by hours sitting in the office. All thanks to the upside positions performed within an elastic hammock.

By stretching your spine, you provide more nutrients to the intervertebral discs and keep them healthy. This means you are less likely to suffer from back pain in the future. The meditative nature of yoga itself helps to relax your mind and release stress. But don’t miss the fun part: we don’t usually have the chance to hang upside down in the air like Spider-Man, do we?

5. Swimming for healthy lungs

Despite being a low-impact exercise, swimming is considered a quality cardio workout which improves your cardiovascular health and strengthens your muscular frame. The greatest advantage of swimming, though, lies in its ability to increase lung capacity. As a result, we receive more oxygen which is important for proper brain work and focus. Bigger lungs also mean you can handle more physical pressure and not get tired too quickly.

6. Stretching for stronger muscles

Stretching is necessary to keep our muscles strong and healthy. Flexible muscles are more prepared for physical activity and are able to perform a full range of motion in our joints. This becomes critical when we reach a certain age. Old people face limitations of their mobility, and stretching is a way to avoid them.

It also prevents our body from possible injury or trauma. Long muscles are less likely to be hurt by unexpected movement.

We hope these instructions will help you to build an efficient, healthy workout routine. Tell us which exercise you find particularly challenging. If you liked the article, share it with friends to live longer together!

Illustrated by Natalia Tylosova for Bright Side