Damn…just when I thought that weight-lifting, cardio, and tracking my 10,000 steps was the fountain of youth…a new study appears. 

It indicates that playing team sports can prolong life expectancy. Tennis (which only requires two players or maybe just one determined player and a ball machine) leads the list. 

That was something of a relief, because I was afraid that I might need to take up dodge ball, reliving the horrors of my youth when I hyperventilated throughout gym class, terrified that I’d get a ball in the face or the boob.

Contrary to my high school experiences, team sports supposedly have huge mental health benefits, according to a recent article in The Ladders. I can understand why that might be the case. Group activities (especially as we age) combat loneliness. Plus, you can shop for new sneakers and cool tee shirts. 

I’m not inclined to play soccer at this stage of my life. Too much running and mud are involved. My daughters both played and they were usually covered with bruises. Volleyball never really appealed to me. Pickleball (a racket sport) seems to be all the rage among the older population in Arizona (where I live), but who came up with that name?

If you’re motivated, you can learn to play an all-new team sport. But the study inspired me to pick up tennis again.  I played it in my youth. It meets all my criteria — social, cute outfits, and minimal chance of injury. 

Perhaps I’ll even work my way up to tournaments. As long as they aren’t called “Seniors Tournaments” I’m in!


  • Nancy A Shenker

    The Silver Hair Playbook: How to Be a Bad Ass >50™

    Nancy A. Shenker is a marketing innovator, brand builder, writer, speaker, and self-proclaimed rule breaker. Over the course of her 40-year business and marketing career, she has been a C-level executive, an entrepreneur, and a mentor to hundreds of small businesses at all stages. Founder of theONswitch marketing, Nancy was formerly a senior executive for major consumer and business brands, including Citibank, MasterCard, and Reed Exhibitions. She has written four books, and publishes a women’s entrepreneur community (www.sheBOOM.com), as well as AI/machine learning/robotics site www.EmbracetheMachine.com and travel and lifestyle site www.BleisureLiving.com. She also wrote a column for Inc.com called Bots & Bodies (about the human side of tech) and is a contributor to a wide range of consumer and business media. She recently won the "Killer Content Award" for a major project for a fast-growing technology company.