Curious exercise researchers at the University of Sydney examined 11 different health surveys on more than 80,000 people (average age: 52) over nine years and found that, amazingly, those who’d played racquet sports like tennis, racquetball, or squash in the previous month had a 47% lower risk of early death.
And that’s not all: Enthusiasts who swung a racquet regularly also showed a 56% drop in cardiovascular disease. It’s believed that this type of full-body exercise, which features short bouts of high-intensity effort, helps you live longer by boosting your metabolism and strengthening your heart.
Swimming, a great whole-body workout, came in second, with aerobics in third place and cycling in fourth. Surprisingly, neither soccer nor running seemed to significantly reduce premature death.
To court longer life, pick up a racquet and add the sport of kings to your cardio routine—it will serve you well.