Not all children will grow up to be Olympians. Those who do, however, will probably live longer.
The New York Times “Well” blog reported the findings of two studies that suggested medalists outlasted non-Olympians by an average 2.8 years. To put this in perspective, the study results showed that 8 percent more of the medalists than same-age peers were still living 30 years after their victory.
Is it possible then, that children who don’t become Olympians can live as long as those who do?
Authors from the longevity studies think so. Results indicated that Olympians who competed in high-intensity activities like rowing did not have an advantage over athletes in much less strenuous sports like golf. Getting regular exercise, regardless of intensity, seems to be the most important factor when it comes to increasing lifespan.
For kids, developing a foundation in physical literacy gives them the skills to maintain an active lifestyle into adulthood and live long like an Olympian. That’s medal-worthy in my books.