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[9/20/20] Harvard Heart Letter lauds playing racquet sports, including pickleball

Study after study concludes that exercise is good for both our physical and mental health but did you know that racquet sports leads the list of of sports that add years of life expectancy? A Mayo Clinic article states that the "multivariable-adjusted life expectancy gains" from playing tennis tops the list for different sports:

  • Tennis 9.7 years

  • 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

(We use this data based on the 25-year Copenhagen City Heart Study extensively in our business plan, capital campaign materials, and grant applications!)

The Lancet journal found that, specifically, participation in popular team sports (like tennis and soccer) showed the highest reduction in "mental health burden" in comparison to more solitary exercise types such as cycling and gym activities.

And an article in the September 2020 issue of Harvard Heart Letter explains that "racquet sports [are linked] to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a longer life ... [because] in general, racquet sports engage muscles throughout your upper and lower body, which challenges your heart. During a match, you do frequent, short bursts of high-intensity activity interspersed with less vigorous movements — a perfect example of interval training. Also known as HIIT (high-intensity interval training), this workout strategy seems to be a good way to boost cardiovascular fitness."

So when you're out on the pickleball courts having fun, feel good about extending your life expectancy and improving your mental health as well!

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