Tennis is a very popular world sport that can be played by people of all ages. A game of tennis involves a variety of types of play and can be played both for sport or as a recreational activity with friends and family. Either way, playing tennis is a great way to maintain health, fitness, strength, and agility.
It has been calculated that an hour-long game of singles tennis burns around 600 calories for men and 420 calories for women. In addition to the fitness and physical health benefits, tennis also provides numerous social and mental health benefits as well.
Fitness and cardiovascular health
Tennis is a unique sport; it provides both aerobic (endurance) and anaerobic (fast explosive movements) training. The average point in tennis includes bursts of activity and acts to condition our bodies the same way interval training would do. This has a profoundly positive effect on our heart and lungs with studies showing that playing just 3 hours a week reduces the risk of heart disease by over 50%.
Strong bones and muscles
Dozens of studies have analyzed bone health in tennis players at all different levels with most showing that bone density and strength increase as a result of tennis participation. This is most noticeable in the spine and hips and the dominant arm of the tennis player. The movement patterns required for tennis such as pushing off, lunging, jumping, combined with the start/stop nature of the game, develops muscular strength and endurance in legs and core, and an ability to resist fatigue.
There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that immunity is enhanced through exercise. Moderate exercise improves the immune system by increasing the number and strength of immune system cells, as well as, increasing immune system efficiency. As tennis is both physically and mentally demanding, reason would suggest that it is one of the best sporting activities to give our immunity a boost. Tennis players are also more likely to adopt healthier lifestyle patterns, such as eating nutritious foods, implementing proper hydration practices, prioritizing rest/recovery, and sleeping a minimum of 8 hours, which help to prevent illness.
Better Concentration & Memory
Playing tennis regularly is known to improve concentration and memory. Because it requires both athletic skill and strategy, it keeps you on your toes physically and mentally. Learning to keep your head in the game helps you stay more alert.
Tennis, as with all other forms of exercise, causes the brain to release endorphins and serotonin. Both of these are known to elevate your mood, among other benefits. Focusing on beating your opponent also takes your mind off other worries, and provides a physical outlet for anxiety, depression, and daily worries.
Improved Self Esteem
Playing regular tennis is great physical exercise and will result in a better body image. Your balance, coordination, speed, and flexibility will all increase. This enhanced physical state results in greater confidence in day-to-day life. As your game improves, this self-confidence will also continue to become even stronger.
Regular tennis also gives you a regular physical outlet for stress. It gives you an opportunity to work out the muscle tension in your body associated with stress. It improves your cardiovascular health, which also helps your body better handle the daily stresses of life.
Boost your mind
Regular exercise helps keep you in a positive state of mind. Tennis requires not only athletic prowess but also a good amount of strategy. You’re forced to think quick and respond on your feet. You must anticipate your opponent’s next move, calculate the best response, and deliver it in a matter of seconds. Not only will you be working out the muscles in your body, but you’ll be flexing and building your mental muscles as well.