A New Lease on Life: Tennis & Longevity
Community, longevity, and a good backhand
By Greg Georgis | Founder and Publisher, fit815 Magazine
We’re willing to go out on a limb and acknowledge that the readers of fit815 probably don’t immerse themselves in scientific papers regularly. But something interesting was recently published that highlights an intersection between this longevityfocused issue and my personal life. I’ve previously written about the Copenhagen City Heart Study, where researchers followed 20,000 healthy residents of this Danish city for 25 years.
The study not only definitively proved the correlation between longevity and exercise, but it actually dug a little deeper and examined how playing specific sports improves longevity. The sport that increases one’s life expectancy the most may surprise you. It turns out that regularly playing tennis extends life expectancy by 9.7 years!
This surprised the authors of the study who struggled to understand why this sport had such an amazing effect on longevity. “Belonging to a group that meets regularly promotes a sense of support, trust, and commonality, which has been shown to contribute to a sense of wellbeing and improved long-term health,” the authors write. Or perhaps the impressive stats are related to the benefits of high intensity interval training? “Short repeated intervals of higher intensity exercise,” the report says, “appear to be superior to continuous moderate intensity physical activity for improving health outcomes.
This may shock you, but the results of this study probably wouldn’t surprise the regulars at Forest City Tennis and the Boylan Tennis Center. Truth be told, I spent my formative years at both facilities. And effective January 1, 2020, the staff at Forest City Tennis are making Boylan their home base as the old Clock Tower makes way for the new Hard Rock Casino.
I think that what is most exciting about this merger is that it funnels the tennis community into one club, creating new avenues for social engagement, meeting new players, forming new leagues, and increasing class opportunities for players of all ages. And these are all the hallmarks of what makes tennis such an impressive life extender! •