Five Reasons Why Tennis is One of the Best Sports for Your Health
Everyone knows that physical activity is important for preventing disease and improving overall health. But, the idea of spending hours on the treadmill or sharing dirty weights with a bunch of strangers isn’t appealing to everyone.
Luckily, hitting the gym isn’t the only way to get in shape. Playing sports is a great option for those who want to get active while still having fun and spending time with friends and family.
If you’re looking for a sport that will help you with all aspects of your health, tennis might be just the one for you.
Read on to learn the top five reasons why tennis is one of the best sports out there for people of all ages who want to get healthier.
1. Full Body Exercise
Research shows that full-body workouts are highly effective for people who want to get in shape and improve their health.
Unlike some sports that isolate certain body parts (for example, soccer doesn’t require much upper body work), tennis allows you to strengthen the entire body.
The legs are targeted from running, jumping, and crouching, and the upper body is used for swinging the racquet and serving the ball.
The trunk also gets a lot of attention from frequent twisting and pivoting.
2. Improved Anaerobic and Aerobic Capacity
Tennis is great for improving both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
Tennis improves your aerobic capacity since it requires a lot of running and walking. You increase your oxygen intake during every game, which speeds up your heart rate, delivers oxygen and nutrients more efficiently to the muscles, and improves your endurance.
At the same time, tennis boosts anaerobic health by improving the muscles’ ability to use oxygen efficiently for quick, explosive movements -- like sprinting to catch the ball for it goes out of bounds.
3. High-Calorie Burn
The combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise in a typical tennis match makes it a great option for people who want to burn lots of calories while playing their sport. You’ll burn calories just by walking and running up and down the court.
The short bursts of intensity included in most games will also help you burn more calories even after the match is over. This is known as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).
4. Better Bone Health
Tennis is a weight-bearing exercise, which means that it puts pressure on your bones and helps them maintain their strength.
Strong, healthy bones are essential, especially as you age, for preventing conditions like osteoporosis.
Bone mass peaks at around age 18 for women and age 20 for men. This means that, unless you’re actively working to improve your bone density, you could be setting yourself up for low bone mass (and all the problems that come with it) later in life.
5. Better Balance, Flexibility, and Coordination
To prevent falls and injuries, balance, coordination, and flexibility are essential. Because it involves a lot of bending, reaching, and quick footwork, tennis helps you improve all of these things.
Tennis is great for seniors who want to maintain their strength and independence, but people of all ages can benefit from the coordination, flexibility, and balance improvements that the sport has to offer.
If you’re ready to start playing tennis, you’re in luck. It’s a highly accessible sport -- most cities have public courts that are open to anyone. All you need is a racquet and a ball, which you can purchase at most sporting goods stores, as well as supercenters like Walmart and Target.
For those who have never played tennis before, recruiting a friend or family member to teach you the ropes is a good idea. You can also look online for groups of people who play regularly and ask if you can join.
If you’re worried about getting hurt, keep these tips in mind to stay safe on the court:
Warm up properly before each game
Avoid overuse injuries by wearing a supportive brace that is ideal for activities with repetitive arm movement
Avoid playing on wet, slippery outdoor courts
Tennis is a great sport for people of all ages who want to stay healthy and active. With a low barrier to entry and tons of health benefits, there’s no reason not to give it a try today!