Whether you’re young or old, tennis is a fantastic activity that can keep you in shape. It can do wonders when it comes to your cardiovascular and muscular system, but we should also not underestimate its impact on our mental health. Here are just some of the most obvious benefits of playing tennis.
While most people think of running or swimming when it comes to the best activity for the entire body, tennis is actually up there among the best. Since it requires running, stopping and starting, jumping and crouching, you can bet that your lower body will get some great workout. Also, hitting the ball requires your upper body to give its best, particularly your abs, shoulders and upper back.
Aerobic and anaerobic health
When you play tennis, you increase your oxygen intake, which increases your heart rate and helps your body deliver oxygen and nutrients to all the muscles. Also, numerous capillaries and capillary beds benefit, which means your muscles can have a greater blood supply and flow. That leads to improved muscle performance and maintained anaerobic health, which allows the muscles to use oxygen in a better way and provide quick energy spurts for explosive power and quick, reactive movements.
Many people engage in physical activities primarily to lose weight and burn excess fat. Actually, tennis is one of the best activities you can do if that’s one of your goals, too. So, next time to put on your TennisGear tennis shoes you can expect to lose between 400-600 calories an hour if you’re playing singles tennis, which is really not bad for such a fun sport.
Tennis also has a positive effect on your bones, because you can increase your peak bone mass and slow the rate of bone mass loss over time. Since bone mass peaks around age 30 and declines after that, it’s important we maximise bone mass prior to that age through exercise and tennis is a great way to do that, since it is a weight-bearing activity, which makes is well suited to building strong bones.
Tennis includes quick anaerobic movements, which burn fat and increase your heart rate. If you play for an hour or two, your cardiovascular health improves, which is very important when it comes to lowering the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Improved flexibility, balance and coordination
This sport requires the cooperation of the whole body. Your feet have to get you into the right position, your arms and hands position the racket to make contact with the ball, while your torso and legs provide the power to send the ball flying over the net. And each time you hit the ball, all these factors come together. With every shot requiring flexibility, coordination and balance, it’s easy to see how you benefit from playing tennis.
If you want to be good at tennis, you have to use your brain to be creative, plan your shots and coordinate different parts of your body. With practice comes improvement, which means that better and stronger the neural connections related to those types of activities become, the better you become at them. Apart from improving neural connections and developing new neurons, all the thinking involved improves brain function.
Tennis, like most other sports, improves your mood. People practising tennis are more optimistic, have greater self-esteem and much less anxious than those who prefer sedentary activities.
Discipline and social skills
You can’t play tennis unless you’re disciplined and patient. In order to master the game, you need both time and dedication, i.e. time spent practising and focusing on improving as a tennis player. Since you need an opponent for each practise and match, it can also help you achieve a better degree of socialisation, because you have to interact with different players. So, always use an opportunity to play with someone you’ve never played with if you really want to make the most of this wonderful sport.
So, grab your gear, don your tennis clothes and visit the nearest tennis court to become a healthier and fitter person.