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Health Benefits of Playing Tennis

Health Benefits of Playing Tennis
Indulging in sports is one of the best ways to stay fit, and tennis is one such sport that will give you more than one reason to embrace it, at any age! Wondering how and why? Keep reading ...
Rutuja Ghanekar
A study conducted by the British Journal of Sports Medicine states that playing regular tennis increases the heart size and its performance capacity, irrespective of the gender.
Tennis is known as a gentleman's game because it was played by nobility and the elite, in the days gone by. Today, tennis is one of the most popular individual sports globally, and is played by people of all age groups. Besides the thrill and spirit of competition provided by a game of tennis, it also offers physical and mental health benefits. Let's get to know the array of health advantages of playing tennis.
Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Problems
A game of tennis involves a great deal of quick aerobic movements resulting in increased heart rate and metabolic function. These enhanced energy levels help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol, and eventually heart-related risks.

Aerobic exercises increase the blood circulation throughout the body, in order to increase the flow of oxygen. This process strengthens and keeps the heart muscles healthy.
Improves Bone Health
A 30-minute game of tennis can go a long way in improving the conditioning of the bones. Strenuous exercise, as well as the type of exercises where you have to work your body against gravity is an excellent way to strengthen your bones.

Studies carried out by the National Institutes of Health  indicate that bone mass of both men and women begins to reduce after the age of 30. Hence, the only way one can prevent or slow down its decline is by exercising regularly before you reach your peak age. The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center  states that at least half an hour of daily exercise, such as playing tennis, helps in preventing osteoporosis.
Burns Calories
Being a fast-paced sport, tennis requires one to stay alert at all times. It involves a great deal of calorie-burning activities like sprinting, swinging, and jumping. For an active play of 1 hour, the calories burned are as follows:

If the weight of a person is 160 pounds (73kgs) : 584 calories are burned
If the weight of a person is 200 pounds (91kgs) : 728 calories are burned
If the weight of a person is 240 pounds (109kgs) : 872 calories are burned

Research done by Mayoclinic staff states that an hour of tennis burns more calories than the same duration of bicycling (leisure, <10mph), golfing, and playing volleyball.
Enhances Brain Activity
Tennis also requires the player to possess tactical thinking abilities, agility, presence of mind, and other motor skills. Motor control is enhanced while working on shots like drop shots, angled volleys, smashes, and lobs. Exercising, thus, aids in improving neural connections that are essential in transmitting vital information from the brain to the rest of your body.
Elevates Mood
Endorphins are neurotransmitters produced during various activities―exercise being one of them. These endorphins are released during intense workout sessions that gives a person an euphoria-like feeling―often termed as a runner's high. Aerobic activities like tennis, are excellent at improving your mood, relieving possible signs of depression, and reducing stress. This also plays a major role in keeping one's cool during an important match.
Improves Coordination and Flexibility
The exercise or training drills performed before a game of tennis include different styles of stretching workouts. These workouts are intense and are essential since court coverage is an important aspect of every game. Such drills, thereby, improve your agility and flexibility to execute every shot.

As explained above, motor skills also play a major role when it comes to executing crucial movements. Overall body coordination is extremely important as you have to be prepared for every shot that comes your way. Coordination and flexibility together also reduce the risk of possible injuries, especially sprains.
You can reap the health benefits of playing tennis, or any sport for that matter, only if you play regularly. Sport also acts as a great stress buster, and a 30-minute game of tennis is sure to recharge and rejuvenate you.