Science Says This Sport Is Best For Increasing Life Expectancy – Health Digest

When you think of sports that will add to your life expectancy, swimming, running, and walking might be some of the first that pop into your head. However, according to a 2018 Danish study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, it’s not the solitary sports that add the most time; it’s the social ones. Tennis was the reigning king — with a total of 9.7 years of life expectancy gain.

The study included questionnaires that were followed up after 25 years. However, it didn’t go into detail about the why behind tennis adding years to your life. Interestingly, though, social sports were the ones that gave participants the greatest gains. This was furthered by a 2019 study in Japan that showed exercise done with family and friends is positively correlated with life expectancy. Cardiologist James H O’Keefe, Jr. MD also weighed in on the topic on Saint Luke’s Newsroom. “We know from other research that social support provides stress mitigation. So being with other people, playing and interacting with them, as you do when you play games that require a partner or a team, probably has unique psychological and physiological effects.”

Tennis can be highly competitive, fun, and social — meaning you get your exercise, relieve stress, and add nearly a decade to your life expectancy. But if tennis isn’t your cup of tea, it isn’t the only sport you can try to get a few more happy years.

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