Tennis is a very popular sport around the world and is played by people of all ages. A game of tennis involves a variety of types of play, including serving the ball over the net, rallies (when the ball is hit back and forth between opponents), fast movements and strategic game play. Tennis can be played as a sport or as a recreational activity with friends and family.
However, tennis has many other mental and physical health benefits as we will find out in this article.
Physical Health benefits
1) Increasing aerobic capacities
Tennis legend Bjorn Borg accurately characterized a tennis match as “a thousand little sprints.” The quick aerobic movements involved in the sport promote better function of the alveoli in the lungs. Basically, playing tennis regularly would make you immune to being caught out of breath when doing vigorous physical activities.
2) Lowers resting heart rate and blood pressure
Playing tennis increases your heart rate but reduces your overall resting heart rate by promoting good cardiovascular health.
3) Improves metabolic function
Tennis helps you stay active and keeps your metabolism ticking along at a steady pace thereby promoting higher energy levels and aids digestion.
There are many different types of sports out there that workout different parts of your body, but there aren’t many sports that singularly exercise every part of your body like tennis does.
Therefore, your body’s metabolic rate increases to compensate the energy expended in playing tennis, thereby promoting homeostasis.
4) Increases bone density
Osteoporosis and other bone related deterioration diseases can be delayed and possibly even prevented as the movements involved in playing tennis promote good bone development and health, thereby preventing loss of bone density.
5) Lowers body fat
As if it wasn’t obvious by now, staying active will help to keep your body fat and cholesterol levels at bay, thereby further promoting cardiac health.
6) Improves muscle tone, strength and flexibility
Playing tennis involves the movement of several muscle groups throughout the body and therefore, it gives the player good muscle tone, strength and flexibility.
A tennis match requires players to move side to side, up and back and at differing speeds to test a variety of muscles in your legs. And the inherent movements in a typical match help to improve forearm strength, back muscles and core development.
This is especially visible in regular players and pros who have excellent tone and strength from thousands of cycles of doing tennis related muscle movements.
7) Decreases reaction times.
Returning serves is a matter of lowering your reaction times as much as possible. The more you practice, the more likely you are to become more adept at what is traditionally called as the “kinesthetic sense”.
Mental Health Benefits of Tennis
· a great way to meet people and spend time with friends
· suitable for all ages and skill levels. Whatever your level, you can find someone of a similar ability to play with. This really helps with your confidence
· helpful to reduce stress as it gives a sense of satisfaction
· not dependent on youth or strength – you can play for a lifetime or start the game at any age and carry a sense of achievement with you
Playing tennis boosts brain power:
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 related to those types of activities become, and the better you become at them. In addition to improving neural connections and developing new neurons, studies show that exercises that require a lot of thinking — such as tennis — can actually improve brain function in ways that aid memory, learning, social skills and behavior.
Improves discipline and social skills:
Tennis makes you more disciplined because the skills needed to master the game take patience, time and dedication. That’s a lot of time spent practicing and focusing on getting better. Tennis helps you in achieving a better degree of socialization as you have to interact with different players.
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