Exercise is beneficial for you, no matter what. It lowers your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other deadly diseases. However, the type of exercise, frequency, and repetition of it all matter. Can you guess which sport will add a decade to your life?
If you guessed tennis, you are right. Tennis and other racquet sports can lower your mortality rate by 47%. Players also have a 56% lower chance of cardiovascular disease. Compared to those that do not exercise at all, tennis can add 9.7 years to your life! So why do tennis players reap these benefits? Racquet sports are a combination of activities that require interval bursts of effort that move large muscle groups. Tennis combines aerobic movements, strength work, flexibility, and rapid strategic thinking into one package. As much as tennis is physically taxing on the body, it also builds your social skills. Researchers have found that group sports promote trust, support, and community. These factors lead to a longer life. Individual sports, like jogging, swimming, and cycling do not have as much longevity advantages like tennis, badminton, and soccer.
Besides tennis, walking, swimming, and running can also significantly reduce mortality. For example, those who walked 12,000 steps had a 65% lower mortality rate than those who walked 4,000 steps. Swimmers who swam regularly lowered their risk of mortality by 28% compared to those who did not swim at all. Any distance of running decreases the risk of death by 27% compared to those who do not run. Running more miles doesn’t additionally lower the risk of mortality.
Any exercise is better than no activity. However, some provide more benefits than others. Tennis requires complex movements, quick decision making, and social skills. If you want to add another decade to your life, consider taking up the sport.
- Murphy, J. (2020, April 20). 5 sports scientifically proven to help you live longer | MDLinx. MDLinx. Retrieved from mdlinx.com/article/5-sports-scientifically-proven-to-help-you-live-longer/Uby97i7J2o4tB63pEy0zB
- Murphy, J. (2019, February 19). People who play this sport live longest | MDLinx. MDLinx. Retrieved from mdlinx.com/article/people-who-play-this-sport-live-longest/lfc-3433
- Salzberg, S. (2018, September 17). Want To Live Longer? Take Up Tennis. Forbes. Retrieved from forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2018/09/17/want-to-live-longer-take-up-tennis/#3734f9aa301b