Being active, competitive individuals makes us more prone to injury. We're certainly not going to give up what we love, so what can you do to stay healthy and injury free? Have some hints? Read something recently you want to share? Here's your chance!
From The New York Times: The Best Sport for a Longer Life? Try Tennis
By Gretchen Reynolds
Sept. 5, 2018
People who played tennis, badminton or soccer tended to live longer than those who cycled, swam or jogged.
Want to Decrease Your Chances of Dying??
Well then, play tennis, badminton, or squash! (Or pickleball?) Recently released research involving over 80,000 adults, indicates that players of racquet sports were an amazing 47% less likely to die of any cause, and 56% less likely to die of a cardiovascular disease compared to those who did not play. Those are some whoppin' numbers!
The study was done over more than a decade in England and Scotland and the average age of participants was 52. About half of them met the minimum recommendations for some kind of physical activity. They were tracked over the next ten years, and almost 9,000 of them kicked the bucket, technically speaking, during that period. The group that at least met the minimum standards for exercise were substantially less likely to end up underground.
As an aside, as recently as the 1940's, many doctors feared that exercise led to what was pejoratively called an "athletic heart." It was noted that many athletes had enlarged heart muscles, the same characteristic that many people who suffered heart attacks displayed. Later it was explained by the fact that many heart attack victims had hearts that had been laboring to pump blood through clogged arteries, and thus developed more heart muscle.
Interestingly, according to the study, some sports simply didn't have much impact on their participants chances of staying alive compared to other exercisers. As expected, it was clear that those who exercised in any way improved their chances of staying vertical. Evolutionarily, the human body was designed to be active. However, it was found that runners and joggers did not substantially improve their chances of staying on the right side of the sod by plying their sport, compared with other exercisers. Ditto for soccer and rugby players.
Other studies may shed light on this rather surprising conclusion. It has been shown that racquet sports have other components which promote longevity. Not only do they draw on the problem-solving parts of the brain in deciding on tactics and shot selection, but possibly more important, they have a definite social component to them. And there may be more affability in sports where the objective is not to hurl one's opponent to the ground. (Not to mention injuries.) The end result in all of this is simply that tennis players live longer, healthier, happier lives. (Senior) Tennis anyone?
Posted by Jimmy Parker
USPTA Master Professional