The Health Benefits Of Playing Tennis

Tennis has always been coined as the Sport for a Lifetime, but is this really true? According to renowned experts from the medical tennis world, there is no doubt that tennis is one of the best sports you can play.

Here are some of the supporting facts that add kudos to this theory.

Physical Health

By participating in the sport for at least three hours a week fairly competitively, tennis players can cut the risk of death from any cause by half. This was the finding of physician Ralph Paffenbarger who studied over 10,000 people over twenty years.

Competitive tennis burns more calories than aerobics and cycling according to studies of calorie expenditures.

Tennis is particularly good at developing:

  • Aerobic fitness – by burning fat and improving cardiovascular fitness
  • Anaerobic fitness – by offering short, intense bursts of activity
  • Speed – through a series of side-to-side and up and back sprints
  • Leg strength – from stopping and starting
  • Body coordination – from the nuances of the game
  • Fine motor control – by using touch shots
  • Agility – by continually changing direction
  • Dynamic balance – from starts, stops and changing direction
  • Bone strength – in younger players and preventing osteoporosis
  • Eye-hand coordination – by judging the timing between on-coming ball and the proper contact point
  • Flexibility – due to the constant stretching and maneuvering

Mental Health

Dr Joan Finn and colleagues at Southern Connecticut State University discovered in their research that tennis players scored higher in vigour, optimism and self-esteem whilst scoring lower in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and tension than both other athletes and non-athletes.

And because tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking, it may generate new connections between nerves in the brain, and in turn promote a lifetime of brain development.

It has also been muted that tennis outperforms golf, inline skating and most other sports in developing positive personality characteristics according to Dr. Jim Gavin.
Psychologically tennis is good for:

  • Develop discipline – learning to work on your skills
  • Learn to compete – one-on-one competition helps you to fight
  • Accept responsibility – by practising skills, checking equipment and making the right decisions
  • Learn to handle stress – because of the physical, mental and emotional stress of tennis will force you to increase your capacity to cope with stress
  • Plan and implement strategies – learning to naturally anticipate an opponent’s moves and strategies and plan countermoves
  • Learn sportsmanship – tennis teaches you to compete fairly with opponents
  • Learn to win graciously and lose with honour
  • Learn teamwork – playing doubles you have to rely heavily on your partner
  • Develop social skills – through interaction before, during and after a match
  • Have fun – Possibly the biggest benefit of the lot

It is hardly surprising that doctors and physicians view tennis as the most healthy game you can participate in. It is true that playing any sport will be of benefit at some level. But no other sport than tennis gives such a complete and rounded group of benefits.

If you like the idea of improving your overall fitness levels then why not come down and see our first class facilities for yourself. We have some of the best tennis courts available in North Sydney, find out more today by speaking to our friendly team.


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