Benefits of Tennis

benefits of tennisHow is that New Year’s resolution to join a gym and get fit working for you?  Are you still eagerly going, lost weight, or feeling fitter?  Or are you using every excuse to avoid it?  Do you find the treadmill laborious and the center lonely as other people are too busy to make new friends?  How many times have you started on a new diet or exercise program with the best of intentions to only find that after a while your enthusiasm wanes?

To quote Albert Einstein, “The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

It is time to try something new – Play Tennis! Tennis is one of the most popular sports throughout the world and is played by millions of people at all levels of ability.  Tennis is traditionally referred to as a sport for a lifetime because once learned the majority of people maintain the sport throughout their life. Join the millions of people who are onto something good!

According to scientists from a variety of disciplines, (just Google “benefits of tennis – but not now… keep reading) tennis is still one of the best sports anyone can choose to play. A tennis workout is THE total body workout providing physical, mental and emotional benefits.

Physical Benefits

  • Burn Calories:  According to Consumer Reports (January 2005), tennis ranks among the top five activities for most calories burned per workout.  Caloric expenditure studies showed competitive tennis burns more calories than aerobics, inline skating, or cycling. You’ll burn more calories in a mere half hour of singles tennis, than rowing, riding a stationary bike, doing yoga or playing golf.
  • Prolong Life: Harvard University School of Public Health documented that people who participate in tennis three hours per week (at moderately vigorous intensity) cut their risk of death from any cause in half.
  • Healthy Heart: Johns Hopkins University documented middle-aged men who stayed active in tennis—more than any other activity—had a significantly lower incidence of cardiovascular disease as they aged. This resulted from increased calories burn, reduced blood pressure and reduced stress; all playing a role in reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Fight Osteoporosis: Tennis provides the benefits of weight-bearing exercise that builds denser, stronger bones. The more bone mass you build under 30, the better off you will be during the years of gradual bone loss. Exercise can also help you maintain bone density later in life.
  • Flexibility: Consider the constant need to change your movement direction to reach balls.  Tennis improves flexibility in the joints, particularly in the hips and the shoulder used to serve. It also develops and tones your muscles, especially the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, arms, shoulders and upper back, not forgetting your core that holds the body all together!

Mental Benefits

  • Critical Thinking: Your brain is a muscle that needs exercise too.  Tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking when anticipating your opponent’s next move and planning yours.  A Tennis workout or game uses brain power keeping your brain active!
  • Self-Discipline: Regular practice makes you more disciplined in your approach towards the game and hopefully in other areas of your life.

 Emotional Benefits

  • Self-Image:  A study done at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) showed tennis players scored higher in vigor, optimism and self-esteem than other athletes or non-athletes.
  • Stress Relief: The same SCSU study showed that tennis players scored lowest and therefore better combat depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and tension.
  • Social Skills: Tennis is a sport that can be enjoyed by every age and every ability level, whether playing league competition or ‘hit & giggle’ with family members.  You are making memories while meeting people, making new friends and spending time with family.  Just get out there!
  • Sportsmanship: Tennis outperforms golf, inline skating and most other sports in developing positive personality characteristics, according to Dr. Jim Gavin “The Exercise Habit”.  Tennis provides experiences in teamwork, friendship, and competitiveness developing core social values.

The John Newcombe Country Club offers tennis instruction for all levels of players and fitness abilities.  There is the league play for doubles, mixed doubles and singles.  If you who want a class to develop tennis technique the choices are plentiful.  If you have never picked up a racquet before then Tennis 101 is for you.  Instant Tennis is great for a quick refresher or for the player who needs development.  Open Clinic is designed for the Intermediate/Advanced play with drills and game strategy plays.  But the favorite for the gym avoiding fitness seeker is Cardio Tennis for a complete cardio workout while hitting tennis balls.  Cardio Tennis is for players of all abilities!

All sports have their advantages for mind, body and spiritual development. But no other sport compares to tennis for its great health benefits physically, mentally and emotionally.