Tennis tops all sports when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease. The reason? It’s the aerobic activity people seem to stick with from youth into middle age, say researchers at Johns Hopkins University. A study in The American Journal of Medicine reported on a survey of the sports participation of almost 1,300 male doctors beginning in 1946, when they were 22 years old. Physical activity was measured again 22 years later, and the incidence of cardiovascular disease was followed to about age 60. One-third of the doctors surveyed in their 40s who had played tennis in college reported having played it in the past week; no other sport came close to this level of participation. Correspondingly, the data showed that tennis was the only sport linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. “Sustainability of activity should be considered when developing physical education programs for young adults,” conclude the study’s authors.
(Source: Alternative Medicine magazine October 2002)