Young or old, you can enjoy tennis for the many physical, mental, and social benefits it offers.
Rightly regarded by many as the “sport for a lifetime,” tennis is one of those activities anyone at almost any age or fitness level can play and enjoy. All you need is a racquet, a few tennis balls, a partner, and access to a court. When running on the treadmill day in and day out gets old, you’re tired of lifting weights at the gym, or your workout isn’t providing the results you hoped, it might be worth a shot to give tennis a try. You’ll get a full body workout, improve your fitness, and burn a ton of calories, while your mind will be stimulated and you’ll have fun competing against your partner.
Here’s why tennis is an activity you should add to your list of workout options.
Playing tennis competitively burns more calories than cycling, inline skating, or aerobics. On the tennis court, you can burn 500 calories an hour and have fun doing it! Tennis offers both an aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) workout. The jogging and easy swinging provide a great cardio workout that improves endurance, but it’s the quick bursts of sprinting and swinging followed by a rest period that increase your calorie burn and muscle gain. This is the perfect combination for weight loss, fitness, and muscle toning. In fact, the movements of tennis provide one of the best workouts to improve heart health, strengthen your core, flatten your abs, build arm and leg muscle, and increase flexibility. Sound good? Then grab a racquet!
Maybe you’re into another sport but want to take your performance to the next level. Tennis is a great way to reach this goal because it requires speed, strength, jumping, lunging, agility, hand-eye coordination, gross and fine motor control, balance, and quick reaction time—all skills needed for other sports.
Train Your Mind
It’s not just your body that benefits from tennis, but your mind as well. Unlike the mindless repetition of running on the elliptical machine or pedaling a stationary bike, tennis sharpens your mind. Being good at tennis requires alertness and strategic thinking, brain exercises that create new nerve connections in the brain. Every time the ball is hit toward you, you’ve got to respond quickly and map out your strategy—where and how hard you’ll hit the ball to outsmart your opponent.
While the rules are fairly straightforward and easy to learn, improving your tennis skills will exercise your brain as you practice new moves, hone your skills, manage mistakes, anticipate your opponent’s moves, play under pressure, and learn to compete.
Time with Friends
Two to four players are needed to play a game of tennis, so if you’re the type of person who finds exercise more enjoyable when done with others, tennis may fit you well. Call up a friend or three, and head to the courts for a friendly, competitive game. What better way to socialize than to spend time outside, feel the warm sun, and get your exercise?
Maybe you’re looking for a workout you can enjoy with your spouse. Why not try tennis? Wish there was an exercise activity for the whole family? Take the kids along and let them practice hitting a ball back and forth over the net on one court while you and your spouse play a competitive game in the next court. The next warm weekend, plan a tennis date with your spouse or make it a family affair and take the kids.
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