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5 surprising health benefits of tennis to consider


There’s no other sport quite like tennis. When played at its highest level, very few games require the kind of lateral quickness or short-burst speed required — for very long stretches of time.

With that said, tennis also easily adapts to its players. Children, older people, and just about anyone else can get out and play the game, and it has some pretty good health benefits too.

Here are the health benefits of tennis, as well as some advice on how to determine whether tennis might be the right sport for you.

General health benefits of tennis

There is plenty of science to support tennis as a top-flight form of exercise. One study established links between regular tennis participation and a variety of positive health effects, including:

– Lower body weight

– Reduced blood pressure

– Decreased chance of heart disease

– Improved blood sugar control

– Improved lung function and cardiovascular fitness

– Better bone health

Even if it’s good for your health, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s for you. After all, health and fitness are just one part of what makes something appealing.


Why should I start playing tennis?

It’s no secret that regularly playing sports can be good for our everyday wellness. But that doesn’t mean every sport is an automatic fit for everyone looking to improve their health.

Sometimes it pays to dig a little deeper. Some other reasons why tennis might be for you include:

It’s great for seniors. Tennis does not need to occur at warp speed in order for it to be a challenging game of strategy and physical skill. That’s one reason why many experts recommend tennis to older people. Another is that the sport is a way to improve bone mineral density — perfect for those with osteoporosis or any number of other bone-related conditions — while gently improving strength, agility, and cardiovascular fitness.

It can help you lose weight. Although this will vary widely by fitness or intensity level, tennis is indeed an effective calorie burner. Non-competitive players tend to burn about 400 calories per hour, according to estimates. Singles players tend to burn more calories than doubles players, and competitive play also tends to be more intense.

It helps your social life. Every tennis court is painted for both singles and doubles play. You can compete against a friend or family member head-to-head, or if you prefer you can form a team to play against another group or couple.

Keeping your head in the game. Remember that strategic component we mentioned? It turns out that as you attempt to predict and react to your opponent’s next move, tennis helps increase your alertness and improve your critical thinking skills.

Getting better sleep. As with all exercise, playing tennis helps regulate serotonin, which in turn helps regulate the sleep cycle. It can also help improve your mood.

Milan Markovic/Shutterstock

Tennis is the kind of sport you can play for life. Alone, with a partner, or in a larger group, tennis is a great way to build regular activity into your daily or weekly life. It also has plenty of health benefits, from weight loss to better mental acuity.

Perhaps the best reason to take up tennis is that you can play it fairly easily later in life. Higher-impact sports like basketball or hockey fall by the wayside while lower-impact sports like tennis or swimming are easily played when ages reach 70, 80, or even beyond.

But anyone at any fitness level can get on a tennis court and begin working on their backhand. Racquets are readily available at most sporting goods stores, and public courts and private clubs usually are not difficult to find — neither are public or private lessons. Tennis is ultimately a welcoming sport that can mold to fit each player and continue doing so for years to come.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

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Scott Harris
Scott Harris is a freelance writer based near Washington, DC, with more than a decade of experience covering health…
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