Subject: 8 Reasons You Should Play Tennis Today
Invented in France in the 11th century, tennis began as a sport played only with bare hands. Now enjoyed by millions of people across the globe (with a racquet, thankfully), this popular sport has been deemed an ace for your overall health. In fact, researchers of a review published in The Physician and Sports Medicine said, “it is difficult to find an activity that offers as wide a range of overall health benefits as tennis.”
A highly social game, tennis helps boost social skills and promotes the release of endorphins to improve moods. Its aerobic nature helps us in other ways, by improving lung function, strengthening muscles and bones, and protecting the heart. Really, there are far fewer reasons NOT to play, so why not hit the court today?
Before you volley, check out these 8 reasons you should play tennis today!
- Increases Bone Strength Tennis is a unique sport in that it requires a number of muscles to work together. The result: increased muscle tone and flexibility. Plus, multiple studies have found links between playing tennis and increased bone density, especially in a player’s dominant forearms and lumbar vertebrae.
- Help the Heart It’s no shocker that playing tennis is good for your heart health. We all know that improving our cardiac fitness does wonders for our tickers. Activities like tennis, that incorporate interval training (alternating between various, short high-intensity exercises and short, less-intense exercises), have been proven to help keep our hearts pumping well.
- Boost Mood Tennis embodies the mind-body balance. A highly mental game, this popular sport teaches patience and grit. Being highly social in nature, tennis also introduces players to new friends and helps them to build a powerful sense of community. Combined, these qualities help improve mindset, strengthen resolve, and elevate mood.
- Bust Stress As with many sports, playing tennis results in a release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones that help improve our mood. These neurotransmitters also help to combat the ill effects of stress, keeping us calmer and more relaxed when trying situations arise.
- Decrease Blood Pressure Playing tennis regularly can lower your blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Another bonus: The more you play, the more aerobic fitness you’ll achieve and the more quickly you’ll whittle down your waistline and lower your body fat percentage, say Dutch researchers.
- Improve Balance and Coordination As we age, multiple things become more challenging (we WILL find you, car keys). As time passes, things like balance and coordination can start to slip, literally. Luckily, research proves that playing tennis, which requires multiple muscles to work together at a high-intensity, can help combat these ill effects. According to a study published in Sports Health, playing tennis is “an excellent activity mode to promote musculoskeletal health and should therefore be more frequently recommended.” The researchers found that tennis players had significantly greater upper and lower body musculoskeletal function than those who don’t play the sport.
- Heighten Brain Power Tennis involves coordination, balance, aerobic fitness, and concentration (a.k.a. cognition). According to a review study by Israeli researchers, putting all of these elements together is a recipe for cognitive success. According to the study’s author, “dual-task training” (i.e. training that puts demands on both your brain and physical or motor activity), is effective at boosting your overall brain power.
- Lengthen Lifespan Being active decreases our risk of disease, boosts our mood, and protects our hearts and brains. Turns out playing leisure activities like tennis can also increase our lifespans. According to the Copenhagen City Heart Study (CCHS), playing tennis can help you live an average of 9.7 years longer than those who participate in other activities such as jogging, cycling, or playing soccer. Part of tennis’s winning results revolve around its social nature.