Tennis Anyone? Yes, It Has Benefits
By Paul Rothbart
Sports are a great way to get into shape and maintain good health. They can be physically challenging, mentally stimulating, and a good way to socialize. Some sports are difficult for older adults, but there is one that can be played at any age. Tennis is a popular activity that provides many benefits for overall health. Here are some reasons to consider grabbing a racquet and hitting the court.
Playing tennis involves constant motion. Short sprints to catch up to the ball, stretching and reaching to hit a shot, and then getting back into position all occur continuously. This is ideal for strengthening the cardiovascular system. It also burns a considerable amount of calories. The American Dietetic Association states that playing a game of singles recreationally can burn between 600 and 1,320 calories. That is an excellent workout that can be a boon to weight loss. When preceded by a warm-up, tennis is as effective as a run for overall fitness.
Toned and Flexible Muscles
Hitting a ball over the net with control and consistency from anywhere on the court requires coordination and balance. You have to reach both your forehand and backhand as well as overhead. These motions improve flexibility and keep the muscles strong and well-toned. Moving quickly and getting set for each shot can greatly improve balance. Playing tennis is a whole-body workout. Being involved in the game, you don't even realize how much exercise you are getting.
One of the great aspects of tennis is that it also engages your mind. While running, walking, and biking are great workouts, your mind may tend to drift to areas of concern or worry. You can be in the midst of a great round of exercise and still fret over life's issues. While playing tennis, your mind is on the game. You think of the score and the strategies you wish to employ. Getting your mind off your troubles is a great way to relieve stress. A break from anxiety is helpful for solving problems later.
Tennis is played with at least one other person. The mental health benefits of socializing are well-documented. Interacting with other people in a positive and fun environment causes the brain to produce mood-enhancing hormones. This helps reduce the risk of depression and other mental health issues.
Playing any sport has benefits for the mind and body. Tennis is one of the better choices. Playing once or twice a week can be a great way to stay mentally and physically healthy.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Seminole, Fla.