How Tennis can make you healthier
If watching Wimbledon has got you ready for a game of tennis – use that motivation, pick up a racquet and start playing this summer.
Updated: Tuesday 17 November 2020
Tennis is a great sport because it not only adds variety into your workout regime, it is also a high calorie burning intense exercise which is great for weight loss and cardiovascular fitness. It can be played competitively or recreationally and you don’t have to be a professional to reap the benefits of playing tennis. On average, one hour of tennis could burn around 600 calories in men and 420 calories in women.
A study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine discovered that playing a racquet sport such as tennis had a significant positive impact on health by lower body fat percentage and reduce the risk of cardio vascular disease.
Along with those benefits, we’ve found a few more reasons why you should start playing tennis:
Tennis is one of the best total body workouts because it uses nearly all the muscles in your body seeing as you are constantly running and stretching. One hour of play could cover a distance of up to 5 miles, so tennis is a great way to burn a lot of calories, especially if you are playing singles. To lose a pound of fat you would need to burn approximately 3500 calories, and if singles tennis burns around 400-600 calories in one hour, then playing for a few hours each week could help you lose up to a pound a week.
Improves aerobic health
Playing tennis increases your heart rate and allows oxygen and nutrients to be supplied efficiently through the blood. Greater blood flow in your muscles means you are able to perform more optimally, maintain higher energy levels and it will take longer to feel fatigued.
Improves bone density
Tennis isn’t just good for your muscles, it’s good for your bone health as well. Regular tennis playing can reduce the rate of bone mass loss over time, strengthen bone mass in young players and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in older ones.
Tennis is a high intensity, fast paced sport, so continually having short bursts of sprinting, jumping and lunging over the course of several hours will improve your stamina over time. It will also help with your anaerobic fitness because the short burst of activity followed by rest will help your muscles use its oxygen more efficiently.
Each shot you take requires flexibility and coordination. Your arms and hands allow the racquet to make contact with the ball, your legs and torso produces the power and your feet produces the motion. The constant stretching and movement will therefore increase your flexibility.
Boosts Brain Power
Tennis requires tactical thinking, planning, agility and the coordination of various parts of your body. Playing tennis regularly will strengthen the neural connections in your brain which will allow you to improve your play over time. Not only this, but exercises that require a lot of thinking, such as tennis can improve brain function because it increases memory, learning, social skills and behaviour.
Top tips for Tennis and Weight Loss
- Use only one ball. This will make you run for it every time it goes out of play.
- Have a long warm up with your opponent to keep the ball ‘in play’ for as long as possible.
- Use a ball machine for 10-15 minutes for a sustained period of activity.
- Play with someone who also want to lose weight – In this way you both will befocused and playing in a way that helps weight loss.
- If you are standing idle waiting, jump up and down or jog on the spot to keep moving.