Play tennis to live nearly a decade longer!

It’s no surprise that regular physical activity directly contributes to a person’s health and wellbeing. However a research study has shown tennis players have the added benefit of living an incredible 9.7 years longer than inactive people, top of the list of sports.  

Tennis aces life expectancy

In the report conducted by the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine researchers looked at 9,000 people for up to 25 years, tracking what physical activity they did and when they died, they found tennis players lived longest among the activities they looked at.

Having accounted for wealth and education status in the findings, the researchers believe that it’s the social connection that is the key to the longevity benefits with racquet sports being the most beneficial.  

  • Tennis: 9.7 years gain in life expectancy
  • Badminton: 6.2 years
  • Soccer: 4.7 years
  • Cycling: 3.7 years
  • Swimming: 3.4 years
  • Jogging: 3.2 years
  • Calisthenics: 3.1 years
  • Health club activities: 1.5 years

Tennis will serve you well

Dr. Laskowski co-director of Mayo Clinic thinks that a possible reason for racquet sports topping the list is interval training. The fact that in tennis during the point the intensity is high for a short period of time, followed by a recovery period as the players prepare for the next point. Interval training has been proven to be very efficient in conditioning the body to produce greater efficiency. The health benefits of playing tennis are extensive, across both physical and mental wellbeing.

Physical benefits

  • increasing aerobic capacities.
  • lowering resting heart rate and blood pressure.
  • improving metabolic function.
  • increasing bone density.
  • lowering body fat.
  • improving muscle tone, strength and flexibility.
  • increasing reaction times and alertness.
  • Increasing coordination. 

Mental benefits 

  • Feeling part of a community.
  • Socialisation with like-minded people. 
  • Releasing serotonin and endorphins. 
  • Relaxation and switch off from daily. 
  • Mindfulness and present.  
  • Improving self esteem. 
  • Building positivity.
  • Providing mental stimulation. 
  • Building mental muscle.
  • Building mental resilience. 

Increasing the rate of return to the courts  

Former professional tennis player and Managing Director of Voyager Tennis Academy Ryan Henry says “it’s been such a tumultuous 2020, with people enduring lockdowns across Australia and specifically in the Northern Beaches where two of our tennis centers are located, worrying about job security and a general increase in stress levels, this data puts even more of an emphasis on the importance of getting our players and the community back on the courts”. 

“For kids who are serious about the sport it builds character, endurance and the ability to handle stress. It also offers a healthy environment away from the negative influences that can occur during teenage years. In general, people who play tennis often develop a huge circle of like-minded friends, frequently continuing to play into old age’’ he adds.   

Whilst local tennis communities have experienced less court time over the past 12 months, the professional players have proved attitude is everything. With a lack of competitive tennis due to the pandemic and most recently very challenging physical and mental conditions leading up to the start of the International tennis season in Melbourne with mandatory quarantines.  

‘’Our absolute priority is to welcome players of all ages and abilities to our multiple clubs around Sydney and Singapore. Our professional coaching team and centers offer a range of tennis programs including private and group lessons for beginnings through to elite players, tournaments, holiday camps, cardio tennis as well as facilities for squash and futsal.” says Henry. 

So it’s time to get active to increase your health, happiness and ultimately your life expectancy.
Let’s get ready to play!    

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