Playing tennis gets you moving — and moving is good for the body and the mind. One of the great things about tennis is that it’s a sport that can be played at nearly any age and at any skill level. Because it’s a low-impact sport and it’s not dependent on the strength of the player, young and old alike pick it up easily.
Whether you play competitively, for your health or just for fun, tennis has great benefits for the mind and body. Here we’ll share five ways that taking up a racquet and hitting the court can have positive impacts on your health
HEART DISEASE AND AEROBIC EXERCISE
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the present time. Just three hours of moderate aerobic exercise each week can reduce your chances of developing heart disease by up to 50 percent. Aerobic exercise focuses on the aerobic — or oxygen-using — processes in your body. In other words, aerobic exercises get your heart pumping and your blood flowing in order to increase oxygen flow throughout the body, which strengthens the heart muscles, reduces blood pressure and improves circulation. And tennis is a great aerobic exercise.
Lowering high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy body weight, lowering cholesterol, reducing stress and being physically active are key to helping reduce the risk of heart diseases and playing tennis can help you accomplish all these things.
Tennis is a sport that requires the cooperation of the whole body. The feet maneuver you into the right position, the arms and hands position the racquet to make contact with the ball, and the torso and legs provide the power to send the ball flying over the net. All these factors come together every time you hit the ball, and each shot takes flexibility, coordination and balance.
Playing tennis regularly helps to improve the body’s ability to synchronize controlled movements, which can have benefits that carry over to other areas of your life.
Flexibility is great because it can give you a wider range of motion, help prevent injuries and even reduce muscle strain, coordination and balance reduce the risk of injury when playing sports or simply engaging in everyday activities. The more you play, the better your flexibility, coordination and balance will be.
STRENGTHENING BONES OF THE BODY
Bone mass is directly affected by what parts of the body you’re exercising.
Playing tennis isn’t good for your muscles and mind alone; it has a positive impact on your bones as well. Exercising regularly can increase your peak bone mass and can slow the rate of bone mass loss over time. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), bone mass peaks around age 30 and begins to decline after that. You can maximize your bone mass prior to that age through regular exercise, and continuing to exercise after 30 can slow the rate of bone loss].
Regular exercise improves coordination, flexibility and muscle strength, which can help prevent falls and injuries that can damage fragile bones.
The best exercises for building bone strength and mass are exercises that involve weights. But that doesn’t mean you have to be lifting something — your body, and the resistance of gravity against it, is often enough to give you the weight-bearing exercise needed to support bone health. Regular practicing Tennis as one of the weight-bearing activities well suited to building strong bones.
ELEVATE YOUR MOOD
When you exert yourself, the body releases endorphins, or chemicals that make you feel good. Endorphins improve your mood, reduce stress, increase optimism and even ease the symptoms of depression. Aerobic workouts, like tennis, are especially good at improving your mood. Being mentally healthy can carry over to all areas of your life, including work and your interactions with friends and family. If you use tennis as a way to relax and reduce stress, it can help you feel more mentally prepared to deal with whatever life lobs at you.
Tennis requires the brain to be creative, and it involves planning, tactical thinking, agility and the coordination of different parts of the body. So the more you play tennis, the better and stronger the neural connections.