Are you looking for a new way to get active? Have you considered playing tennis?
Tennis is a perfect activity for anyone who likes the idea of playing sports but isn’t keen on joining a local team or league. You can practice tennis alone against a wall or find another player to volley back and forth with.
It’s also affordable to start as you only need a racquet and a ball.
There are plenty of good reasons to play tennis, aside from the obvious one: it’s fun! Keep reading to learn a few physical and mental health benefits of playing tennis.
1. Enhances Range of Motion
Tennis is a very physical sport. It causes you to use and strengthen muscles all around your body. While you’re strengthening those muscles, you’re also increasing your range of motion.
Tennis involves frequent stretching. While you’re hitting the ball back and forth, your shoulders and back are getting a good stretch.
If you’re new to tennis, you might discover that you feel sore after a game (or even a practice session). It’s important to warm up before you play and cool down after you play so you can rest and restore those muscles.
Don’t jump right into a game or you can over-stretch and cause injuries.
2. Great for Cardiovascular Health and Wellness
Everyone knows that a fast-paced game of tennis can get your heart pumping. As long as you’re playing to win, you’re going to find yourself running all over the court, jumping to hit the ball, and (hopefully) taking small victory laps.
This is all great for your cardiovascular health. Tennis will increase your oxygen and blood flow and strengthen your heart. You’ll reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure (and you’ll have fun doing it).
The CDC recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lucky for you, a fast-paced game of tennis is a high-intensity activity, so even a game or two per week (paired with mild exercises like walking or yoga) is sufficient.
3. Effective for Weight Loss
Have you been trying to lose a few pounds? Tennis is a great solution.
Because tennis is an aerobic exercise, it’s perfect for weight loss. It’s fun enough that you’ll enjoy “working out” even if you’ve never been the type of person who wanted to hit the gym.
You can burn several hundred calories per hour when you play a high-intensity game of tennis. There are about 3,500 calories in one pound of body fat, so if you keep up with playing for a few hours per week, you’ll slowly lose weight over time (and slow weight loss is often better than rapid weight loss).
Unfortunately, tennis isn’t enough on its own to help you lose and maintain your weight. Make sure that you’re pairing it with strength training and a healthy diet if you want to see the best results.
4. Encourages and Improves Agility
Do you consider yourself an agile person? If not, tennis might seem too intimidating to you. Don’t worry; tennis can help boost your agility.
When you play tennis, you have to get yourself all around the court. You won’t be running in straight lines or hopping up and down in place (though these things also have health benefits).
You’re going to be moving around like an athlete. This makes you more agile over time as your brain and body adapt to this new style of movement.
5. Motor Control and Coordination Benefits
Could your motor skills use some work? Are you always feeling uncoordinated? Tennis is a great solution for that as well.
When you play tennis, every part of your body has to work together. Your core has to stabilize you while your legs chase the ball and your arms swing. While that’s going on, your brain has to be one step ahead so you can hit the ball and anticipate your opponent’s next move.
At first, you’re going to feel awkward. It can be hard to get your body to do several things at once. As you continue playing, however, you’ll discover that you feel more capable and coordinated than ever.
You’ll also be improving your hand-eye coordination. This means that your eyes and hands will become more synchronized. You need good hand-eye synchronization if you want to be able to hit a ball as it hurtles toward you.
6. Helps With Mental Health
Your physical health isn’t the only thing that can stand to benefit from a few games of tennis. Tennis can also give your mental health a boost.
First, if you’re playing outside, you’ll have more exposure to vitamin D. While you’re out there in your tennis tank top and skort capris, the sun will shine down onto you. Vitamin D from sunlight may help improve your mood and reduce feelings of depression.
Another one of the top mental health benefits of tennis is endorphins. Your body releases endorphins when it’s working hard. This means that while you’re getting an aerobic workout, your body is pumping out endorphins to keep you going.
Endorphins reduce anxiety and depression; they’re helpful for pain management, and they can help you get a better night’s sleep after your game.
Finally, tennis benefits your social life (which can also improve your mental health). When you play tennis, you get a built-in social group of tennis players, as long as you’re willing to find them. You get to bond over a shared interest.
Remember: your mental health is no less important than your physical health. Tennis helps with both.
Playing Tennis Is Great for Your Body And Mind
There are plenty of great physical and mental health benefits of playing tennis. You’ll improve your cardiovascular health, maintain a healthy weight, get more agile, and even feel better mentally. Why wouldn’t you want to don your tennis clothes and get out onto the court?
It’s time to go buy a tennis racquet and find a friend to play with. Enjoy your new favorite hobby!
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