Tennis fever is at an all-time high thanks to the Wimbledon season, and now is the time to work off all that strawberries and cream by heading to the courts yourself.
But it’s more than just calorie-burning. Tennis boasts an array of physical, mental and social advantages, of which we have comprised a list of the top 10 reasons why you should grab your racket, embrace your inner Andy Murray and get ready for game, set and match.
1. A Head-to-Toe Workout
One of the main benefits of playing tennis is that your whole body gets an intensive workout. When the game is in play, your legs are consistently in some form of motion, whether that is running, jumping or bending. This leads to the muscles in your legs becoming stronger as they are continuously working hard to help you perform to the best of your abilities.
Playing tennis involves using a lot of your upper half, especially the shoulders and arms. When placing your body in the correct position for a particular shot, the muscles in your top half have to be strong enough to cope with multiple twists, turns and swings so that you have control when hitting the ball.
2. Improves Cognitive Skills
Tennis is a sport which requires a lot of thinking and decision making. You need to consider the movements of your body, the direction of the ball, your opponent’s movements and even the conditions you are playing in. This way of thinking encourages you to quickly develop a strategy and execute it, without over analysing it.
By consistently making quick decisions and acting on them, your cognitive skills will be improved both on and off the court as your brain will adopt this way of thinking when you are put under pressure.
3. Boosts Mood
Tennis, as with many other sports, releases endorphins. This chemical helps to reduce stress levels and contributes to the happy feeling you get after doing something physical such as playing sports.
Tennis is particularly great for stress relief, as hitting balls allows you to vent your frustration in a healthy and fun way.
4. Good for the Heart
As tennis is a sport which involves a lot of stopping and starting, your heart is trained to work in intervals. When the game is in play, you are constantly moving around and forcing your heart to work faster. Once there is a break in play, your heart rate then lowers as you are in a less active state. By consistently doing this, you are improving your vascular system as the heart is able to pump out more blood with each beat.
5. Not a Seasonal Sport
Unlike many other sports, tennis can be played all year round. Make use of indoor courts during the winter months and then when the hotter weather arrives, you can play outside in one of the many outdoor tennis courts located throughout the country.
Perfect for keeping active all year, tennis will help you abide by New Year’s resolutions, get you in shape for summer (if that’s what you’re after) or allow you to over-indulge at Christmas without feeling guilty.
6. Helps with Weight Loss
One of the main benefits of this sport is that it can help you lose weight. This is because it involves a lot of movement that will lead to the breakdown of fat as well as helping to burn calories. Research has found that an adult playing tennis for an hour can burn up to 600 calories.
7. Improves Social Skills
Not only is tennis good for you physically, but it can also have a positive mental impact. By joining your local tennis club or taking part in competitions, you can greatly increase your social skills as you are interacting with other people. Plus, it is a healthy way of catching up with friends, and you can either play one-on-one or in doubles.
One thing to note about this sport is that sportsmanship is very important. Whether you are watching The Australian Open, The French Open or even Wimbledon, you will notice that at the end of each match, players courteously shake each other’s hand as well as the Umpires. In tennis, you win as graciously as you lose, which is something that can be applied to everyday life.
8. Makes Bones Stronger
Known as a weight-bearing sport, tennis forces you to work against gravity, as your feet and legs carry the weight of your body. This encourages the formation of new bone mass and therefore increases the health and strength of your bones. According to the National Health Institute, this type of exercise is vitally important for children and teens as the accumulation of bone mass in greater before and during puberty, making this a great family sport.
9. Develops and Improves Work Ethic
As with many other things in life, if you want to become good at something you need to practise. Tennis is a sport which requires a lot of discipline, determination and most importantly, passion.
With these 3 factors, you can improve skillset, achieve your goals and become ace. All of this will lead to a stronger work ethic as you will be able to see what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.
10. Anyone Can Play
The main attraction of this sport is that anyone can play. From the young to the old, this sport is enjoyed by generations due to its strong sportsmanship values and fun nature. Regardless of your fitness level, skill set or age, this sport can be played for fun as well competitively. So, if you are looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon or are struggling to think of a way to keep the kids entertained during the holidays, tennis is a top choice.
Tennis is a sport that brings families and nations together, whether playing on the court or watching it on the telly (or at the stadium, if you’re lucky). Ideal for improving both mental and physical health, Tennis really is a sport for everyone.