Researchers from a university in Manchester in the UK have said that training as part of a sports team is the best way to improve all-round fitness. The researchers said team sport players are as good at endurance and have as much stamina as long-distance runners, and are as strong as bodybuilders. This is because of the different types of exercise team players do. The researchers said the key to all-round fitness is to combine building your strength with combining your endurance and stamina. The research team said cycling, running or swimming was best for all-round fitness. It also said energetically doing housework and climbing stairs was a good alternative to going to the gym.
The study looked at 228 athletes aged 17 to 37 who studied at the Lithuanian Sports University. There were 87 endurance athletes, such as cyclists, skiers and long-distance runners; 77 power athletes, such as sprinters and bodybuilders; and 64 team athletes who played basketball, football and volleyball. The researchers tested athletes on their muscle power and their ability to jump from a standing position. Researchers also tested the athletes' oxygen use during hard exercise to measure aerobic endurance. Professor Hans Degens said his study showed that "endurance training for power athletes and power training for endurance athletes" was beneficial. He said team players have the best of both worlds.