It’s common knowledge that exercise is good for your health, but which kind is the most beneficial?
Tennis has been found to be one of the most beneficial in terms of promoting health and life expectancy. Studies have shown participation in tennis correlates with a 9.7 year greater life expectancy on average, outperforming soccer, cycling, running and badminton.
Why does tennis perform so well? Playing tennis can’t be that much better for you than running, can it?
Studies found that generally, sports involving short interval bursts of explosive movement provided the best stimulus to whole-body muscle groups and elicited the best health benefits. However, this is not the only superior aspect tennis holds over other sports.
Researchers have also found that sports which involve more social connection and interactions promote long-term longevity the most. This makes clear sense given that tennis provides significantly greater benefits than the more solitary running and cycling.
This is why people who participate in sports such as tennis tend to reap the most benefits; the social connectedness. Participating in social tennis competitions and doubles connects one to several other people while still gaining physical benefits from the exercise. We can learn from this that, regardless of the sport, combining exercise with social interaction by exercising with a friend or family member greatly improves the benefit gained from it’s completion!
Therefore, through long-term studies completed over periods of 25 years and upwards, tennis is the most beneficial sport for promoting longevity. The social benefits combined with the intermittent nature of the activity makes it a hugely efficient activity for maintaining and improving one’s physical and mental health.