Want to live longer and have more fun?

Thomas Kruse, MD

Experts like to say that the best form of exercise is whatever kind you’ll actually do. But a new study finds that people who do team sports may be at an advantage over solitary exercisers. The social interaction involved in partner and team sports appears to compound the plentiful benefits of physical activity, adding more years to your life than solo exercise, according to a recent study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

This study showed a dramatic increase in longevity in those who participated in socially interactive sports. 8,500 Danish adults were followed for over 25 years. They found that participants in team racket sports like tennis and pickleball lived six to nine years longer than sedentary adults. Participants in solitary exercise activities like cycling, swimming and jogging lived about 3.5 years longer. Athletic club workouts (treadmills, weight training, etc.) only added 1.5 years. What was especially interesting was that the participants in the solitary activities actually spent more time exercising than those in the team racket sports and yet received less benefit.

Clearly all exercise is good. The lesson here is that social interaction is especially beneficial as well as being a lot more fun. So, keep up your cycling, jogging, swimming and treadmill exercising but think about adding tennis or pickleball to your exercise regimen. You may well live longer and have a lot of fun to boot.

The SaddleBrooke Pickleball Association (SPA) recently received permission to build eight more pickleball courts. We will soon have more courts than ever before. New members are welcome. Information about introductory lessons and joining the SaddleBrooke Pickleball Association can be found on the SPA website http://spa.clubexpress.com/.