Sport is murder. This – shall we say – wisdom came from Winston Churchill, who preferred a glass of champagne, brandy or whiskey to a unit of physical exercise. She is of course wrong. Because it is undisputed that sport, if you don’t understand it as the bull race in Pamplona or the Dakar Rally, is not murder. On the contrary – it extends life.
However, and this may be a heavy blow for many athletes, it will not be extended in the way that was previously assumed. A recently published study, which fed its data from a whopping 350,000 participants, came to the conclusion that – to put it bluntly – sport is not murder, but sport alone does not necessarily shorten death.
If you eat poorly and/or have a lot of stress, even regular workouts won’t do you much good. Earlier studies, most of them with just a few subjects, had assumed that regular exercise could, so to speak, compensate for an unhealthy lifestyle. However, the authors of the study, which has now been published in the “British Journal of Sports Medicine”, point out that only the combination of exercise and a healthy lifestyle, especially diet, increases the chance of a long life. But all of that doesn’t have to mean anything. There are always exceptions. Winston Churchill, who loved alcohol and high-fat Yorkshire pudding, turned 90.