Tennis may be the Answer to a Longer and Healthier LifeHave you turned down an offer to play tennis recently? If you have, think twice before you decline your next challenge. Tennis has become the “sport for a lifetime”. This slogan rings true for many reasons. Tennis not only offers many physical benefits, but it also provides countless psychological ones as well. These benefits can help people of all ages, from eight to eighty!
Why Tennis is One of the Best Sports to Play First and foremost, a tennis player who plays a moderately vigorous game of tennis at least three times per week can decrease their risk of death from any cause by 50 percent. It is even higher for cutting the risk of death from heart disease and stroke, reducing the chance by 56 percent. In addition, tennis will help to maintain your waistline since you can burn about 600 calories during a one hour match, similar to the number you can shed during an hour of jogging or indoor cycling. Among the many physical benefits attributed to tennis, below are five we think are very critical:
- Increases aerobic capacities by burning fat and improving your cardiovascular fitness, leading to higher energy levels.
- Helps to maintain leg strength through hundreds of starts and stops, which build stronger leg muscles.
- Promotes dynamic balance through hundreds of starts, stops, changes of direction and hitting on the run. This is especially key for individuals over the age of 50 when balance starts to decline.
- Strengthens bones and increases density, which is key not only for young players, but also for older individuals who are looking to prevent osteoporosis.
- Boosts your immune system via its conditioning effects, which promote overall health, fitness and resistance to disease.
Now let’s explore the psychological benefits of tennis. It promotes vigor, optimism and self-esteem, characteristics demonstrated by more tennis players than by any other type of athlete or non-athlete. Furthermore, according to a study from the University of Illinois, tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking, which may generate new connections between the nerves in the brain. This in turn leads to a lifetime of continuing brain development. Tennis offers many psychological benefits, but below are five we think are particularly important:
- Develops a strong work ethic because of the time devoted to lessons or practice in order to improve, thus reinforcing the value of hard work.
- Accepts responsibility because only you can prepare to compete by practicing skills and checking your equipment.
- Manages stress effectively thanks to the physical, mental and emotional pressures of tennis, forcing you to increase your capacity for dealing with stress.
- Increases problems solving skills because tennis is a sport based on angles, geometry and physics.
- Plans and implements strategies since you naturally learn how to anticipate an opponent’s moves and plan your countermoves.
Take the Challenge Today
Throughout our 20 plus years of involvement with the tennis community as tennis club owners, installers of indoor tennis lighting systems and active tennis players, we at Sports Interiors realize the benefits tennis has to offer no matter the player’s age. We encourage you to go out today and challenge your body and mind with a vigorous game of tennis. Afterwards, you will be happy you did!
Sources: “Health Benefits of Tennis: Why Play Tennis?” by Jack L. Groppel, Ph.D., USTA.com “The Secret to a Long and Healthy Life on the Tennis Court” by Kate Gibbons, November 30, 2016, The Times