Racquetball: Playing For a Lifetime of Physical, Mental and Financial Health
Article brought to you by Health IQ, Life Insurance for the Health Conscious
By Candice Holdorf
Anyone who has leapt to smash a flying ball knows that racquetball is an excellent way to improve one’s physical fitness. Racquetball quickly elevates the heart rate—making it a great way for getting in the American Heart Association’s recommendation of at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.
Starting racquetball at a young age and making it a lifetime endeavor provides health benefits that extend well into one’s later years. For example, the core strength needed to play racquetball—which helps control movement, transfers energy during a swing and helps one shift body weight from side-to-side—reduces risk of back pain, keeps one’s posture healthy and aids in functional movements like picking up packages.
Since racquetball requires quick reaction times as well as the ability to change directions at lightning speed, racquetball is an excellent way to improve one’s agility and balance now and helps maintain that agility and balance as one ages. According to the International Journal of Fitness, people who play sports that require consistent “stop and start” actions—such as racquetball—have a greatly reduced risk of accidental falls later in life, compared to people who participated in only dynamic forms of exercise such as running/walking.
“Open motor skill” activities like racquetball can also improve cognitive functions that may decline with aging—like quick decision making. Open motor skill activities require constant adjustment and adaptation to new situations, which help improve reaction time, neural functioning and processing speed. One must constantly adjust to unpredictable situations and adapt reactions based on ball placement, velocity and opponent positioning when playing racquetball.
The fast pace and intense concentration needed for racquetball always provides new challenges, which may increase dedication to the game. Yoel Landgarten—an Israeli-born engineer now living in Philadelphia—credits his 10-year love of recreational racquetball to the challenging fast pace and concentration.
“The effort didn’t feel like a grind. Instead, it was just fun,” Landgarten says about racquetball.
The health benefits Landgarten gets from playing racquetball allow him to reduce stress and be more present for work and his family. Plus, thanks to racquetball and a health-conscious lifestyle, Landgarten was also able to save money on his life insurance policy—a choice he made to protect his wife and children.
Landgarten had a brush with cancer several years ago; making it difficult to find what he thought was a fairly priced life insurance policy. When Landgarten heard about Health IQ and its emphasis on getting good rates for health-conscious people, he decided to give them a call. Health IQ has gathered science and data to convince insurance companies that health conscious people, including racquetball players, deserve lower rates due to lower mortality risk. Participation in racquet sports can lower risk of early death by 47% and of death from heart disease by 59%.
Armed with this research, Health IQ was able to find Landgarten a rate that reflected the integrity he brings to his current health-conscious lifestyle—not his medical history from years ago. For many people like Landgarten, racquetball has been an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. From improving physical fitness to boosting cognitive functioning, racquetball is a positive way to stay healthy for the things that really matter in life—friends and family. And with Health IQ, racquetball can help protect these loved ones as well provide a healthy savings in one’s bank account.
A regular fitness regimen that includes racquetball contributes to a lifetime of health. So, how savvy are you on the health benefits of racquet sports? Take this Health IQ quiz to find out!
About Health IQ
Health IQ’s mission is to improve the health of the world by celebrating the health conscious through social and financial rewards. Founded in 2013 by a team of health-conscious entrepreneurs, Health IQ gathered research and data to convince top-rated, innovative insurance carriers that health-conscious people have lower mortality and deserve lower rates on life insurance. Health IQ is a licensed life insurance agency in all 50 states and has helped thousands of health-conscious people secure billions in insurance coverage. Learn more at HealthIQ.com