9 Health Benefits of Playing Tennis
Americans are embracing tennis more than ever. In fact, according to the U.S. Tennis Association, the sport saw an increase in participation of 22% in 2020.
The rising popularity of tennis is not surprising considering the health benefits of playing. People enjoy the face-to-face competition of the game while experiencing positive physical and mental effects.
Playing tennis even appears to extend lifespans.
WebMD reported that people who play tennis approximately three hours every week live nine to ten years longer on average.
Here's how playing tennis adds up to a healthier you.
1. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Tennis provides a full-body, aerobic workout because you're moving back and forth on your legs and swinging your arms. The fast pace will soon get your heart pumping.
All aerobic workouts like this strengthen your heart and improve its ability to move blood efficiently. As a result, you could reduce your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
A British study attributed racquet sports to a 56% lower rate of death due to cardiovascular disease.
2. Improves Flexibility
Warming up with stretches before a tennis match is important because during the match you'll be reaching out with your arms and extending muscles continually.
Tennis requires you to move your arms in wide, sweeping movements, and jump and step rapidly with your legs.
Playing tennis regularly allows you to work your muscles while they are moving through their full ranges of motion.
As a result, your soft tissues develop greater flexibility. This reduces your chances of falling because your muscles remain functional even when extended.
3. Improves Balance
Your balance will improve alongside your flexibility. Muscles that are capable of supporting you in a variety of positions and movements have the strength to pull your body back into its center of gravity.
Tennis demands quick directional changes. Such activity forces your muscles to adapt to your weight going one way and then another.
If anything throws you off-kilter, your body has developed the strength to stabilize itself.
4. Improves Agility
Regularly playing tennis should improve your agility as well. Agility builds upon flexibility.
Once your body becomes better able to perform while muscles are extended, your response time can increase. As you practice, the accuracy of your movements become more precise.
Although agility is great for becoming a better tennis player, it contributes to your health in general. Agility provides the ability to succeed in many physical challenges or react swiftly in an emergency.
5. Increases Brain Activity
Tennis sharpens your mental abilities because you must make split-second decisions as you try to send the ball to a place where your opponent cannot reach it.
Your opponent is doing the same thing to you.
In this situation, you are performing the dual mental task of strategizing your moves while anticipating your opponent's countermoves.
The aerobic nature of tennis increases blood flow as well. This means that your blood is moving more oxygen around your body, including your brain.
A strong oxygen supply, coupled with constant decision-making, boosts brain activity.
6. Reduces Bone Loss
As people age, particularly women, bones can lose minerals that make them dense and strong. This condition is called osteoporosis.
All exercise helps to mitigate this problem, and tennis combats osteoporosis because you are swinging a racket.
Weight bearing exercises trigger your bones to retain material. Although a tennis racket is not very heavy, its weight is still sufficient to force your muscles to work against gravity.
The repeated movement of swinging the racket adds up during a match and provides a good workout that can insulate you from bone loss.
7. Aids Weight Loss
If you've noticed that the pounds are creeping up on you, tennis offers a fun way to burn calories. As an aerobic activity, tennis works all major muscle groups and raises your heart rate.
This is exactly what you need to nudge your metabolism higher.
8. Works Your Core
Your core muscles in your torso become weak if you sit too much. Tennis strengthens your core because the muscles of your shoulders, back, abdomen, and hips will be working together on each swing of the racket.
The improvement in core muscles promoted by tennis is why the activity improves balance and stability. If you've been suffering from back pain, it could be because your core muscles have grown weak.
9. Increases Social Connections
Tennis has a social component. You either play with a partner in a couple's match or you play solo against a single opponent.
Either way, you are meeting at least one person and engaging in an activity together.
Older adults, who might be retired, especially benefit from social outings. Face-to-face socializing cuts the risk of depression.
Meeting people to play tennis gets you out of the house. In general, people's mental health benefits from sharing activities with other people.
In addition to exercise, you'll also talk to each other and occasionally make plans to do something else together.
The Tennis Lifestyle at Bella Collina
As the health benefits of tennis continue to attract people to the sport, more gated communities include tennis facilities. The tennis complex is popular at Bella Collina, where residents and country club members enjoy an active lifestyle in Central Florida.
Within our 1,900-acre community, we have a tennis complex with:
- 6 Har-Tru courts
- Full-service Pro shop
- USPTA-certified pros
In addition to top-notch facilities, adults and children have plenty of opportunities to improve their game.
The tennis program includes:
- Team tennis
- Private lessons for adults or children
Bella Collina is located about 30 minutes west of downtown Orlando. We're close to major Florida attractions but are nestled in the peaceful countryside. The community includes a golf course and fine dining too.
Learn more about tennis at Bella Collina today.