Top Health Benefits of Playing Tennis & Other Racquet Sports
Spring has sprung!
Now that the days are getting longer and temperatures are getting warmer, many are heading outside to ramp up their physical fitness.
Engaging in physical activity is important for everyone, especially for those who’ve lived a sedentary lifestyle during the cold and dark winter months. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding or just taking a walk, being outdoors has an overall positive effect on vitality.
One popular and accessible activity you might consider is tennis.
Classified as a racquet sport, tennis can be played competitively or for recreational enjoyment. It’s played by two people (singles) or four people (doubles).
Tennis is a good way to maintain agility, fitness, and strength. It’s also a superb cardio sport that develops athleticism and superb hand-eye coordination.
Health Benefits of Tennis
Offering a wide range of health benefits, tennis:
- provides aerobic exercise
- burns body fat
- improves muscle tone
- promotes healthy blood pressure and resting heart rate
- boosts metabolic function
- sharpens reaction times
In addition to its physical benefits, tennis has many other advantages. Though tennis can be a physically demanding sport, it’s considered a non-impact sport.
Tennis can be a great way to meet new people or spend more time with friends or family. It can be an enjoyable hobby that helps relieve stress.
It’s also a versatile sport suitable for all ages and skill levels.
If you’ve ever watched tennis live or on TV, you know that the sport requires stamina and excellent dexterity. This might not be the right sport for those who get winded quickly or have reduced mobility.
The sport can come with other physical problems too, most famously “tennis elbow.” This condition may result from excessive playing or repetitive movement and involves irritation or swelling of the tendons in the elbow. Though the name specifically indicates the elbow, a player may also experience pain in their forearm or wrist.
A tennis player may experience pain in their knees or back. They may have soreness in any number of muscle groups. Also, they may feel pain in their joints.
Proper technique may help reduce the potential for injury, so working with a tennis instructor or experienced player might be a good idea if you’re just starting out with the sport. Also, if you have any pre-existing injuries, consider consulting a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist before hitting the court.
Though many people forget or skip this step, it’s important to warm up before you start volleying or begin a match. Stretching can help prevent tares, pulls, or other muscle pain. Releasing, or breaking down, your muscles is especially important after the cooldown phase of your workout, as it prevents the buildup of lactate and metabolites which can lead to muscle cramping, spasming, and soreness.
Also, it’s vital to remain well hydrated, especially if you’re playing outside on a warm day. Drinking plenty of water – before, during, and after a workout – helps to prevent muscle cramping and lubricates your joints. Remaining well hydrated enables your muscles to work longer and harder before they feel tired, and this will help you build muscle.
It’s important to stay physically fit, even on days you aren’t playing tennis. Working out (specifically weight training) can help keep your muscles strong and reduce the possibility of sustaining a serious injury.
One of the most important tennis tips is to be mindful of pain. If you experience pain, hold off on playing until you’ve recovered and closely monitor the situation in case the pain returns. You can also switch to a less rigorous activity until you feel strong enough to resume playing tennis.
Although tennis can be a great exercise and a lot of fun, it’s important not to overdo it!
Other Racquet Sports to Try
If tennis sounds a little too intensive, you might consider one of these racquet sports…
A racquet sport that’s set up much like tennis, badminton isn’t as physically demanding as tennis. Badminton can be played in singles or doubles and requires some agility and good hand-eye coordination.
Though there’s potential to injure yourself while running or lunging, the lightweight racquet probably won’t cause the same level of pain associated with tennis elbow. Also, getting hit with a shuttlecock (as opposed to getting beaned with a tennis ball) is unlikely to cause serious injury.
Table Tennis (Ping-pong)
Table tennis is a type of coordination exercise. It involves your cerebellum, the part of your brain that helps coordinate muscle activity. Though it only accounts for 10 percent of the brain’s total volume, the cerebellum contains about 50 percent of the brain’s neurons, and is involved with both physical and thought coordination.
In addition to providing exercise, coordination enhancement, and brain stimulation, playing table tennis can provide hours of fun with your family and friends. Dr. Daniel Amen has referred to table tennis as the world’s best brain sport.
Other racquet sports include racquetball, squash, and pickle ball.
But Wait, There’s More…
Health Benefits of Racquet Sports
Here’s another reason to play racquet sports. A 2016 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that followed more than 80,000 adults found that those who played tennis, table tennis, squash, and other racquet sports had the lowest risk of dying during the nearly decade-long research.
Any exercise or physical activity requires energy. To perform at your best, you need sufficient reserves of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Without the proper nutrients, you may find it difficult to engage in activities that require sustained physical exertion. To prevent periods of low energy, it’s crucial to take the right dietary supplements.
Every supplement regimen should include ultra-pure vitamins and nutrients that are proven essential for your health, energy levels, mental focus, and physical performance. At BrainMD, we’re proud to recommend…
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For optimal benefit, we recommend taking 2 packets each day.
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The Ball Is in Your Court
As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of some form of physical activity every day. Doing a coordination activity, like tennis, can improve your balance, processing speed, focus, and energy. It also can help you burn calories and just have fun.
Try adding tennis, or another racquet sport, to your weekly exercise regimen!
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It sure was nice when you said that you can avoid potential injury if you will work with a tennis instructor. With this in mind, I will consider finding a reliable tennis instructor for my son. He has been wanting to play tennis, and I want to make sure that he would not suffer from any hand or wrist injuries. Thanks!