Want To Cut Death Risk By Half? Play Tennis

A group of researchers suggested that playing tennis and other racquet sports could cut your death risk by half.  Aerobic exercises, like Zumba, also have the same health benefit. 

Researchers from the University of Sydney conducted a study which looked at the impact of different sports on the health of people.  The study was based on 11 annual health surveys for England and Scotland from between 1994 and 2008.  Senior author, Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, said: "Our findings indicate that it's not only how much and how often, but also what type of exercise you do that seems to make the difference."

Other Popular Physical Activities Do Not Show The Same Health Benefits

The researchers surveyed 80,306 adults.  The participants had an average age of 52, and were asked about the type of physical activity they have done in the past four weeks, and whether the activity was intense enough to make them breathless and sweaty.  The activities included domestic heavy-duty household chores, gardening, and maintenance work; walking; and the six most popular sports, including cycling, swimming, aerobics/gymnastics/dance; running; soccer/rugby; and badminton/tennis/squash.

For about nine years, the researchers tracked the participant's survival, and the results show that compared to people who did not do any of those physical activities, racquet players death risk was cut by 47 percent.  The mortality risk for swimmers was 28 percent lower, 27 percent lower for people who did aerobics, and 15 percent lower for cyclists.

Racquet Players Are Less Likely To Experience Heart Disease And Stroke

The researcher also noted that tennis players are less likely to experience heart disease and stroke at a 56 percent reduced mortality risk. 

Dr. Satjit Bhusri, cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital said: "This study reinforces that the best workout has both aerobic exercise and some resistance training, such as swimming, tennis and rowing.  These are known for both building endurance and also creating strong muscles. You've got to have both."

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