6 Surprising Ways Tennis Can Improve Your Health This Summer

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Thinking Of Playing Tennis ?

With summer in full swing and Melbourne Park alive with animated activity, there is one sporting event at the forefront of everybody’s mind – the eagerly anticipated Australian Open Tennis.

Day after day of epic on-court battles, elite sportsmanship and world-class entertainment make this Grand Slam an international tournament that is not to be missed.

But Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep don’t have to be the only people stepping onto the court this January. Check out these top reasons why you should dig out your racquet and ace your fitness game.

 

1. Increased Aerobic Capacity

Your body’s capacity to utilize oxygen is greatly enhanced by regular aerobic exercise. This means that more blood can be delivered to your muscles with each pump of the heart, enabling you to physically work harder for longer periods of time.

The constant stop-start nature of tennis matches, coupled with their relatively long duration, makes the sport perfect for boosting cardiovascular fitness and stamina. As celebrated player Bjorn Borg once famously quoted, tennis is like “a thousand little sprints”.

Through their elevated aerobic capacity, tennis players face less risk of heart disease, lung cancer and type 2 diabetes, as well as the promotion of weight reduction/maintenance.

 

2. Lower Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

Heart attack, heart failure and angina are common ailments associated with possessing high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). The body is unable to correct such damage to the heart on its own, and medication is usually required if the illness in question has progressed this far.

By regularly playing moderate-to-high intensity sports such as tennis, strain on the heart is incrementally reduced and force upon the arteries decreases, lessening the likelihood of heart-related impairments.

 

3. Increased Agility

Race to the left, immediately dart back towards the right – tennis requires a relatively high level of agility when compared to most other sports. Agility can be defined as one’s capability to move the body quickly and with ease.

Many factors can influence how agile a person is, including;

  • Coordination
  • Centre of gravity / balance
  • Strength
  • Neuromuscular control
  • Suppleness

According to research from Tennis Australia’s Game Insight Group (GIG), Novak Djokovic is the most agile tennis player in the world, reaching a maximum speed of 36.02km/hour in just over three meters distance.

Agility is an essential element of any tennis match. Players are constantly changing direction; after all, a tennis court is only 27 feet wide! As your skills advance, watch your pace and reaction times improve in line.

4. Improved Strength

You don’t have to be on court at the Australian Open to reap the rewards of a challenging, whole-body workout.

The weight-bearing nature of tennis as a form of physical activity means that it can boost your overall muscular endurance and even increase bone density. Your risk of osteoporosis is minimized because strong, active muscles are better able to support healthy bones.

Australia’s national-level male tennis players boast an average vertical jump height of 54 centimeters, only 9 centimeters below their elite basketballer counterparts. This remarkable lower body power makes tennis players a force to be reckoned with – you can develop this sort of strength as well!

 

5. Stress Reduction and Social Interaction

The social aspect of tennis makes it optimal for enhancing communication skills and networks, no matter whether you are playing singles or doubles (with a partner).

The game’s emphasis on sportsmanship ensures that interactions between players are amicable and gracious, forming the foundations for long-lasting friendships.

In addition, as with any form of exercise, tennis releases endorphins or feel-good hormones within the brain which act to reduce stress/tension, immediately boosting your mood and relieving any aggression previously experienced.

 

6. Improved Metabolic Function

Believe it or not, the powerful aerobic benefits associated with playing tennis have even been shown to contribute to proper metabolic function in the body. This means you’re able to metabolize food more effectively, lessening the stress on your digestive system.

In particular, studies have shown that certain peptides (released when playing tennis) have multiple positive effects on glucose metabolism and oxidative stress. Simply put, your body is able to better handle and digest sugars, which can reduce the likelihood of diabetes and obesity.

Whatever your reason for playing, we hope you enjoy your time out on the court this summer– and that you bend it like Kyrgios!

Please remember that any form of exercise may be inherently dangerous. For assistance in injury prevention, pain management or any other issue of health/fitness concern, please do not hesitate to contact our Doreen staff on 03 9470 1010. Also be sure to follow us on our various social media channels.

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