However you like to play the game, from singles, to doubles, to playing all by yourself with the help of a backboard, tennis is a fantastic sport that will help keep both your body and mind in excellent shape. Regardless of your age and ability, tennis provides an excellent workout that improves your cardiovascular and muscular systems while also engaging the brain with the challenge of strategy as you work to outwit your opponent(s). Here are some of the best reasons to play tennis regularly:
It Helps Protect Your Heart
Lasting anywhere from one to two hours, the average tennis match increases your heart rate and boosts energy levels. Your cardiovascular health will improve, which will help lower your risk of heart attack, heart disease and stroke.
It Works Your Entire Body
Your legs and behind will benefit from a constant mix of crouching, jumping, running, starting and stopping, while your upper body is kept busy hitting the ball, either single or double-handed, which especially works your arms, core, shoulders and upper back.
It Burns Calories and Fat
Tennis is a challenging whole-body sport that keeps you moving, which means you burn lots of calories (between 400-600 per hour) while having fun. Studies have shown that playing regularly can also help decrease body fat.
It Increases Aerobic and Anaerobic Health
Your oxygen intake goes up during a tennis match, which raises your heart rate and helps your blood carry oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Your muscles will enjoy an increased blood supply, so that they are able to perform better for longer periods. Playing tennis also helps your muscles use oxygen more efficiently, giving you the strength for bursts of energy needed to react quickly.
It Improves Balance, Coordination and Flexibility
Your entire body has to work together when you play tennis in order to reach the ball and hit it back in time. Gaining better flexibility can even help prevent injuries, minimize muscle strain and allow you a wider range of motion.
It Puts You in a Good Mood
Physical activity has been proven to have a positive effect on your mood, and tennis in particular helps its players reduce their levels of anger, anxiety and depression, while boosting self-esteem and giving them a more optimistic outlook on life.
It Challenges Your Brain
Not merely a sport that requires stamina, tennis is a game of strategy that requires planning and quick thinking, which can help your brain form stronger neural connections. “Thinking” sports such as tennis can even improve learning, memory, behavior and social skills.
It Improves Endurance
The average match requires between 300 and 500 quick energy bursts, helping you run somewhere from three to five miles with quick sprints all over the court. This makes tennis an excellent choice for cross-training with other sports.