Tennis For the Health of It!

Monday, May 9 2016 11:06 AM

If you’re searching for exercise that works out your entire body, look no further than a game of tennis. Playing tennis improves your core, arms, legs and back as well as sharpening your agility, quickness and stamina. It’s also a great way to work off stress and improve mental focus.

Is it any wonder that scientists and physicians around the world view tennis as the most healthful activity in which you can participate? There may be other sports that can provide excellent health benefits and some which can provide mental and emotional growth. But no sport other than tennis has ever been acclaimed from all disciplines as one that develops great benefits physically, mentally and emotionally.

Tennis is a sport for kids to learn early in life. What parent wouldn’t want their children to get these benefits through their growing years? It’s not too late for adults and seniors too! The human system can be trained and improved at any stage of life.

Tennis is an activity that enhances the function of the heart and lungs while increasing metabolism, developing tennis provides a great workoutbalance and coordination and strengthening bones. Every time you hit the ball your body is using a lot of mental and physical resources that come together in a great overall workout.

If you want a good workout for your arms, using a tennis racquet is great for toning forearms, biceps, triceps and shoulders. Playing tennis for a couple hours helps build upper body strength by forcing you to stretch and utilize a wide range of muscles you might not otherwise target.

Everyone is looking to strengthen and tone their core muscles, and tennis is a great way to do just that. By constantly using the abs and lower back to stabilize you as you move and strike the ball, playing tennis helps improve balance and increase power from the core.

Tennis is also a great workout for legs. Your quads, hamstrings and calves are all heavily involved in tennis as you must continuously shift your body and move quickly and decisively to run down shots and position yourself to hit returns. Tennis will improve your explosive muscle ability, and improve both the aerobic and anaerobic performance of your muscles.

As you age your body’s exercise-related oxygen use will decline, but playing tennis helps slow this rate by increasing your overall lung function. Playing tennis also lowers your risk of heart disease, lowers cholesterol and promotes better bone health. Tennis also slows the decline in coordination as you age, and provides you with better overall health as you enter your golden years.

Five Reasons to Play Tennis

  • People who participate in tennis 3 hours per week (at moderately vigorous intensity) cut their risk of death in half from any cause, according to physician Ralph Paffenbarger who studied over 10,000 people over a period of 20 years.
  • Tennis players scored higher in vigor, optimism and self-esteem while scoring lower in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and tension than other athletes and non-athletes according to Dr. Joan Finn and colleagues at Southern Connecticut State University.
  • Since tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking, it may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and thus promote a lifetime of continuing development of the brain, reported scientists at the University of Illinois.
  • Tennis outperforms golf, inline skating and most other sports in developing positive personality characteristics according to Dr. Jim Gavin, author of The Exercise Habit.
  • Competitive tennis burns more calories than aerobics, inline skating, or cycling, according to studies on caloric expenditures.

If you’d like to learn more about how tennis can improve your overall health, call your local Genesis Health Club today to speak to one of our fitness experts and get in the swing of better workouts through tennis.

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