Could a promoter of longevity be…pickleball?

Yes, says no less an authority than Dan Beuttner, founder of the Blue Zones.

As reported here, he cites a Mayo Clinic study that tried to measure life expectancy gains between different sports. It turned out that racket sports won, and by a wide margin: 9.7 years gained for tennis, and 6.2 years for badminton, compared to 3.7 years for cycling, and 3.4 years for jogging. Technically, Beuttner concedes, pickleball is a paddle sport, not a racket sport, but “it involves pretty similar movements and strategies.”

What’s more, pickleball was the specific focus on another study and it was shown to produce significant improvements in personal health and wellbeing. This study analyzed 13 research papers, and noted particularly that pickle ball is easy to learn and to play, and in addition to physical fitness benefits, also produces valuable socialization benefits.

From the article: “‘You can’t help but make friends,” Beuttner says about pickleball culture. This helps address the growing loneliness epidemic in America — one that has grave implications for longevity. “‘If you’re lonely, it shaves eight years off your life expectancy,’ Beuttner claims.

“In addition to having fun with your friends, he adds, you’re also engaging in low- to medium-intensity physical activity and boosting your heart rate. ‘An hour later, you don’t realize you just had a really good workout.'”

Want to give it a try? Find out how to get started here, here or here.

(Photo credit: Pics721 at iStock by Getty)

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