The latest stats show that tennis is the fourth most watched sport and has approximately one billion fans all over the world. This is hardly a surprising fact since tennis is a fast-paced, heart-pumping and thrilling sport.
Watching the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Venus and Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki on the court showing off their athletic prowess and fit, muscular physiques is certainly enough to make everyone sign up for some tennis lessons.
There are various sports and recreational activities you can get into, but tennis should be on top of your list because of the following health benefits it provides:
1. It is a complete cardiovascular workout.
Whenever you play tennis, you take a series of quick sprints over the duration of the game (usually one to two hours). This action increases your heart rate and pumps oxygen and nutrients more efficiently to your muscles. This also helps your muscles utilize the oxygen they receive better. As a result, you won’t get tired faster and your muscles will perform at higher levels.
Playing tennis regularly can lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure. According to a study, this sport can decrease the risk of heart disease and even stroke.
2. Playing it regularly will tone and strengthen your muscles.
This sport allows you to undergo rigorous strength training. When you play tennis, you run, stop, swing your arms, jump and crouch down. You move in different directions and various speeds.
You give your legs, shoulders, arms, hands and upper and lower back a good workout whenever you play. It is one of the most rigorous strength training activities you can give your whole body.
3. It will also help you lose weight.
As already mentioned, tennis can give you an amazing full-body workout. Aside from being an excellent cardiovascular and strengthening exercise, it is also an effective way to lose weight.
When you play a game of tennis, you can burn 400 to 600 calories per hour, enabling you to reduce and control body fat.
However, to experience this benefit, you still need to carefully choose the types and amounts of calories you consume. This means you have to cut back on sugar and high-calorie and fatty foods before you feel and see some changes in your body.
4. It will improve your balance and flexibility.
A game of tennis has a lot of starts and stops. There will be many instances wherein you will have to run one way to the net in anticipation of a drop shot only to suddenly stop and change direction. All of these movements will help improve your agility and balancing ability since they effectively train your muscles to react and adapt quickly to various quick movements.
To play a game of tennis, your legs, arms, hands, and torso need to work together. This coordination of the full body is the perfect workout that will help you improve your flexibility and balance. When you have better balance and flexibility, you lower your risk of injury and, at the same time, enhance your range of motion.
5. It is a great mental workout as well.
Lastly, whenever you play tennis, you get to stimulate your brain, too. This sport covers physics and geometry and thus requires tactical and creative thinking from all players. This means you always have to think and come up with a plan fast and develop the most appropriate response and shot patterns. You also have to be quick on your feet when making split-second decisions as well. All these mental activities have been proven to be effective in enhancing your memory and learning ability.
In addition, your brain has the important role of coordinating various parts of your body to play and improve your game. As such, the more you play, the more your neural connections are developed and increased.
Finally, like any sport or recreational activity that gives your body a full workout, playing tennis will enable you to enjoy several psychological benefits. This is because whenever you play, endorphins are released, and these reduce your stress levels and improve your mood.
To fully experience all the health benefits that tennis provides, learn the basics of the sport and how to physically and mentally prepare for each game. You will have a safer, more successful and fun time whenever you play tennis if you consider getting some lessons from a pro first.
About The Author:
A veteran c-level executive with more than 25 years of experience across multi-faceted industries including Leisure & Recreation, Barry Bremner joined Zayed Sports City as Director of Business & Corporate Services in 2009 and was appointed to General Manager in 2013.