Jet Li Reveals He Plays Badminton to Stay in Shape

TIANJIN/CHINA, 28SEPT08 - Jet Li, actor and Founder of the One Foundation, speaks at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China 28 September 2008. Copyright World Economic Forum ( by Natalie Behring

Jet Li is one of the world’s most renown martial arts superstars, but how does he stay in shape?

In a 2005 interview on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”, O’Brien asked Li what he does to keep his body in good condition. Li’s response? Meditation and badminton.

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Laughter from the audience immediately ensued following his answer.

“I’m not learning any of the things I want to hear: smile, act drunk and play badminton!” he said as the crowd bursted in laughter, but Li was dead serious.

“Does badminton really help you?” O’Brien asked.

“Yes, it really helps, I can play anywhere and one person is enough.” Li said. “It’s not like basketball where you need 5 or 10 people.”

Li also noted that badminton is a great way to improved hand-eye coordination as well as body control. While his advice might be surprising to non-badminton fans, Li’s actually onto something.

Researchers in the past have found that playing badminton regularly can add as much as 6.2 years to your life. A separate study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that playing badminton can lower your risk of heart disease by 56%.

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