Tennis helps to bring families and nations together, irrespective of whether it's been played on the court or being followed on TV (or, at the stadium). Tennis has been scientifically proven to aid both mental and physical health. So, if you are still in two minds whether to start playing tennis or not, this article will help to clear all your doubts. By the end of it, you will find yourself searching for the best tennis classes near me!

Tennis is more than just calorie-burning. It boasts of an array of physical, mental, and social health benefits for players.

Tennis is a versatile sport that can be played all year round. Players can easily make use of indoor tennis courts when the weather outside plays spoilsport, or they can play outside in an outdoor tennis court that can be found in every city in India. If you are looking for a sport to improve and maintain good health, tennis is the perfect solution. Read on to know more about the health benefits that playing tennis can bring you.

Benefits of playing tennis
Tennis can be played all year round - in indoor or outdoor courts. | Image credit: Tim Chow on Unsplash
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Is Tennis the Healthiest Sport?

Contrary to popular belief, tennis can be played and practiced at any age. If you want to play professional tennis, however, you should start early. Studies have shown that playing tennis, which is a social sport, can add years to one's life.

Is Tennis Good for the Mind?

Tennis players are required to do a lot of thinking and decision-making. Tennis players must consider the movements of their body, the direction of the ball, their opponent’s movements, and even the conditions they are playing in. This is a great way to encourage the development and execution of strategy, without overanalysing it.

Quick decision-making and implementation help develop your cognitive skills both on and off the court as the brain learns to adopt this skill in real-life settings, especially when put under pressure. Playing tennis helps the brain release serotonin and endorphins, two neurotransmitters that have been shown to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. They also positively influence the mood and sleep patterns of players.

Does Tennis Aid Heart Health?

Tennis, as a sport, involves a lot of stopping and starting. This teaches your heart to work in intervals. Consider this: When you are in the middle of a game, there is constant movement, which forces the heart to work faster. Once there is a break in play, your heart rate lowers as you are in a less active state. This way, the functioning of the vascular system is constantly improving as the heart is able to pump out more blood with each beat.

A tennis match normally lasts one to two hours and the pacing is ideal for improving your cardiovascular health. Improving your heart health lowers your risk for heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.

Additionally, playing tennis can be both an aerobic and anaerobic workout. While aerobic workouts are ideal for burning fat, improving your cardiovascular health, and maintaining high energy levels, anaerobic workouts allow your muscles to use oxygen more efficiently with short, intense bursts of activity, followed by rest. Tennis increases oxygen intake while getting your heart rate up. This helps your body transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells and muscles more efficiently.

Health Benefits of Playing Tennis

Tennis is not only good for the physical health of players but it also has a positive mental impact. Tennis teaches you to be social, imbibes a sense of sportsmanship, and imparts a sense of humility. While tennis players are expected to learn and memorize the rules of tennis, one unwritten rule of the game is to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

Health and Wellness Benefits of Playing Tennis

The greatest health benefit of playing tennis is that your whole body gets an intensive workout. While playing, your legs are constantly in some form of motion, be it running, jumping, or bending. This constant working out helps to make your leg muscles stronger, which, in turn, helps you perform to the best of your abilities.

Tennis is particularly great for stress relief, as hitting balls allows you to vent your frustration in a healthy and fun way.

Tennis players have to use a lot of their upper half, especially the shoulders and arms. Moreover, as already mentioned, playing tennis releases the happy hormone, endorphins, that reduce stress and make you feel happy about having done a physical activity.

Health benefits of playing tennis
Tennis is a non-contact sport, minimizing the risk of injury to players. | Image credit: thms.nl on VisualHunt

Another very significant health impact of playing tennis is that it helps you to lose weight. Tennis involves a lot of movement that aids the breakdown of fat while burning calories. Research proves that an adult playing tennis for an hour can burn up to 600 calories.

Tennis is known as a weight-bearing sport. In other words, tennis forces you to work against gravity. The feet and legs carry the weight of a player's body which contributes to the formation of new bone mass, thus, further strengthening your bones.

Low Risk of Injury

Unlike high-contact sports, like football, basketball, and soccer, which are notorious for producing serious injuries in players, tennis is considered a fairly low-risk sport. This is due to the lack of player-to-player contact and the injuries that may result from such activity. This is not to say that tennis players are immune to injuries. Sure there are basic physical injuries, like trips or tears, in tennis. However, the risk is negligible and this allows tennis players to continue playing the sport well into their senior years.

Benefits of Playing Tennis for Kids

  • Tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking. Scientists believe that this could potentially foster new connections between nerves in the brain which, in turn, can promote continuing development of the brain throughout one's lifetime.
  • Tennis helps young children master fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  • Tennis players are usually high in self-esteem and optimism.
  • Tennis helps to minimize depression, anxiety, and even anger.
  • As tennis requires discipline, determination, and passion, children who play the game develop all 3 skills faster than their peers which helps them achieve their goals.
  • Playing tennis tends to instill a strong work ethic.

Best Exercises to Improve Tennis Game

Whether you are a tennis beginner looking to make a mark or an experienced pro motivated to keep improving your game, practicing your game will help you not only take your game a notch higher but also keep you in perfect shape. Moreover, regular training exercises will contribute to your level of confidence in the court.

All good tennis players need to work on their strength, agility and endurance so they can bring explosiveness to their serves, speed to match their opponents and versatility in their returns.

Regular practice and warm-up exercises are a must if you want to improve your tennis game. Here are some training exercises that the best tennis coaches in India recommend. You can even do these exercises on your own, at home. Each exercise has its own unique health benefit.

Check out the complete guide to playing tennis by Superprof.

Dribbling

Dribbling with the tennis racket is one of the first and most basic exercises that budding tennis players learn. Dribbling focuses on hand-eye coordination. Dribbling also helps to improve your focus between serves in a tennis match. Here is how it works.:

  • Take your racket in your forehand grip and “dribble” the tennis ball.
  • Try to keep the ball bouncing in the same place as long as you can.
  • Increase the quickness and length of time with each practice session.

Groundstroke Exercise

The best tennis coaches in India insist on this drill. This is what you need to do:

  • Your tennis coach or partner will toss the ball in front of you for a forehand.
  • Once the ball bounces, catch it and throw it back.
  • The person throwing the ball immediately tosses it to your backhand, which you once again catch and throw.
  • Increase the speed and distance gradually.
  • Once you have the motion of your tennis strokes and side steps down, you can add your racket and start hitting the balls instead of catching and throwing them.

Note: You can also set up a ball machine on the other side of the court that automatically feeds you balls. Time your split step with each shot.

Learn how to play tennis
Follow a strict practice regimen to improve your tennis game. | Image credit: ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Practicing Volleys

  • Player A stands at the net.
  • Player B feeds Player A different kinds of volleys from the baseline.
  • Alternatively, both players can stand at the net, volleying to one another and keeping the ball in the air for as long as possible.

To make the drill challenging, the person at the baseline should feed balls directly at the center of the net player’s body, forcing them to decide, instantaneously, whether to perform a forehand volley or backhand volley.

How much do tennis lessons cost? Superprof answers.

Strengthening Exercises

With the steady development of racket and string technology and more innovation in open stance groundstrokes n tennis, a player's wrists and arms undergo extra strain. So, it is important to build up strength in the muscles surrounding the joints in your arm as this can help prevent injuries during tennis matches. One simple exercise to help with this is to throw balls as hard as possible. You can start throwing with tennis balls, then graduate to baseballs, followed by footballs. You must include this drill in your daily tennis practice regimen. Eventually, you can practice by throwing light medicine balls, which will add extra power to your tennis serve.

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Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.