18 Surprising Health Benefits of Tennis

By Lin
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For those wanting to get into tennis, this sport has endless health benefits. Besides being a great way to increase your daily, weekly, or monthly exercise, playing tennis can help improve social skills, mental health, and physical well-being.

Whether you want to become a pro or prefer to play tennis recreationally, the game is sure to change your health in more ways than one. We’ve compiled a list of health benefits of tennis for you below, so keep reading!

1. Supports Cardiovascular Health

One of the first health benefits of tennis we want to cover is that it can improve cardiovascular health. Playing tennis is one way to reduce cardiovascular heart disease mortality. According to one study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who play racket sports are less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases.

Because tennis is an anaerobic sport, you can use it to build stamina and increase your heart’s efficiency. The stronger your heart, the longer you will live.

2. Tennis Can Aid Weight Loss

Another significant health benefit of playing tennis is that with regular playtime, people can use the sport to lose weight. Tennis requires you to get on your feet and move around quite a bit, ultimately aiding in your body fat burning.

Health professionals say aerobic sports (like tennis) can burn calories and promote a calorie deficit. You can expect to slim down or maintain a desired weight by playing tennis along with a calorie-reduced diet.

3. Playing Tennis Can Improve The Human Brain

There’s a saying that tennis players tend to be smarter than most other athletes. Interestingly, studies conducted on young tennis players proved that they scored highly in extroversion and a will to win while exhibiting less neuroticism.

Furthermore, tennis players have been studied to show fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, which can negatively impact daily brain functions. If you struggle with any of these things: tennis may be the answer to your health problem.

4. Tennis Can Decrease The Risk Of Mortality

One of the main health benefits of playing tennis and leisurely, other sports, is that it can help decrease your risk of death. As mentioned above, cardiovascular health is often seen to improve in tennis players, leading to healthier, stronger people.

Experts mention that tennis players saw a reduction in risk of all-cause mortality by 16% compared to non-players. Additionally, tennis players had less heart rate and a 27% lower risk of cardiovascular death. These numbers are incredible, considering how laid-back tennis can be.

5.Tennis Can Help Reduce The Risks Of Diabetes

Whether you have diabetes or are at risk, playing tennis is a proven way to reduce the potential risks of this disease. Alongside a reduced-calorie eating plan, playing tennis can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in young and older adults.

Many diabetic associations have claimed that sports like tennis are essential for people with diabetes, as they can prevent high blood pressure and sugar and improve overall quality of life. This doesn’t require people to become pro athletes but instead hit the courts 1-2 times weekly.

6. Tennis Can Help Decrease Osteoporosis Risk

For people struggling with weak bones, tennis is something to try to improve your overall skeletal health. Osteoporosis happens when new bone creation doesn’t keep up with old bone removal, thus less bone density and leading to constant pain.

However, by playing tennis, you could promote musculoskeletal health and get your osteoporosis under control or prevent this from happening altogether. Tennis is often recommended to older individuals at risk for this disease, so it’s worth considering.

7. Your Agility May Improve By Playing Tennis

Another great health benefit of playing tennis is that it helps improve your agility. Like any good sport does, practicing and playing tennis regularly will encourage your mind and body to strengthen, building agility and core power as time goes on.

Many tennis warmups, like a footwork ladder, enhance your agility and strength. Don’t be afraid to break a sweat before, during, and after hitting the court.

8. Tennis Players Often Have Better Balance

The next health benefit of playing tennis is improved balance. Because tennis requires players to use upper and lower body strength, balance plays a vital role in the sport. Aerobic sports often result in better balance, whether tennis, walking, biking, or climbing stairs.

You can take things slow, playing tennis once or twice weekly. Build up your core muscles, focusing on your lower body. Strong legs make for a more balanced tennis player and person: so these tie into each other.

9. Tennis Is The Perfect Full Body Workout

For people wanting a full-body workout, tennis might be the best sport to try. Not only is playing tennis good for endlessmental health benefits and reasons, but it’s also a great way to break a sweat and get in shape. Many health professionals laud tennis for working out the entire body, from your legs to your core, to your arms.

Even playing the sport casually will give you full body training. Getting out and moving your body is imperative to stay healthy: all the other activities are things tennis can provide.

10. Playing Tennis Can Improve Your Mobility And Enhance Motor Control

Another health benefit of playing tennis is improving mobility and enhancing motor control. Generally, this sport builds muscle in the upper and lower body, meaning enhanced mobility for all ages of players. For instance, those with aging bodies may want to head to a tennis court to build up stamina and muscles in their core, legs, and arms.

The same goes for younger players, as this can help train and build existing muscles and increase overall health. Regardless of age, tennis is one of the better ways to get your body in good condition, all while having plenty of fun.

11. Your Physical Speed And Strength Will Improve By Playing Tennis

If you need help with speed and strength, tennis is an excellent sport to get into. First, tennis requires full-body engagement, which will enhance players’ muscles. Speed directly correlates to stamina. When you improve your stamina through tennis, your speed will improve.

The same goes for strength. Many experts describe tennis as a fast-paced, exciting, and highly entertaining sport requiring many physical fitness aspects. All these things will help to improve your life, both in the present and long term.

12. Playing Tennis Will Improve Your Stamina

As mentioned, tennis is one of the best sports for improving overall stamina. Not only is stamina directly correlated with your cardiovascular and muscular health, but it also impacts balance, speed, and overall mobility.

Playing tennis can make you stronger mentally and physically, leading to better stamina on and off the court. According to Metro League, one additional way to improve stamina/endurance is to take a walk or jog after each game. 

Think of this as a cool-down.

13. Tennis Is A Great Way To Build Social Skills And Improve Mental Health

One of the primary aspects of tennis is socializing. By playing this sport, your verbal health and mental well-being can dramatically improve. Many young and mature people lack social skills, leading to social anxiety and depression.

Playing tennis and meeting new people can lead to engagement in your life and a heightened sense of confidence. Tennis is a sport played and also linked to improving players’ mental health, which is a major deal and might be a nice outlet for anyone struggling.

14. People Who Play Tennis Will Have Better Discipline

Another health benefit of playing tennis comes in the form of discipline. Like most team sports, tennis is structured, requiring players to abide by certain rules and etiquette while on the court. Because of this, you will learn to follow set standards and build better self-discipline in your game and life.

15. Tennis Can Help Improve Your Coordination

Something else that tennis can improve for your overall health is coordination. Generally, playing tennis will evolve your hand-eye coordination, as you’re required to hit the ball with precision. Learning the various shots in tennis will eventually correlate to better, sharper movement.

16. Tennis Stimulates Your Muscles

When it comes to the physical benefits of playing tennis, muscle stimulation is one of the greatest on this list. Not only does tennis recruit your large lower body muscles for quick side-to-side and front-to-back movement, but it also requires you to engage your upper body muscles to help you swing the racket.

Doing these things will get your blood flowing and is a great way to build muscle.

17. Tennis Can Help Improve Your Reflexes

The next health benefit of tennis is how it improves reflexes. Because tennis requires precision, practice, and accuracy, people playing will need to have great coordination and speed. These tie into overall reflex, which you can expect to improve the more you spend time you are on the court.

18. Your Grip Strength Will Improve If You Play Tennis

Another health improvement tied to playing tennis is grip strength. Many people find themselves struggling with grip, which can become an even bigger problem in tennis. However, by exercising your wrists (dumbbells, curls, etc.), you can get your wrists to the place you want.

This will help your game as well as your daily life.

Related: Tennis Grip Size – 2 Steps to Determine Your Grip Size

Things To Remember When Playing Tennis

Now that you know the many health benefits of playing tennis, understanding these key game factors is also a good idea. Although tennis is an easy sport to get into, there are some things to do before, during, and after your game of tennis help to promote health.

Warm Up And Cool Down

One of the more crucial factors of playing tennis effectively is warming up and cooling down. Typically, you want to stretch before hitting the court, focusing on your legs and arms. Remember, you will be using your upper, lower, and core muscles during the game.

After a match, you want to cool down as well. A great way to do this is by jogging or walking around the court or area to relax your body after a potentially tense game. Tennis, for the most, is leisurely, but it is also a very serious physical activity.

Focus On Your Playing Speed/Stamina

Another factor to focus on in tennis is your playing speed. This may correlate to how fast the tennis ball itself is moving, how quickly your feet are moving, or your overall agility and stamina.

Tennis requires quick thinking and action, so work on building these things through exercises and practice.

Our article: Tennis Tips for Beginners: 15 essential pieces of advice for tennis beginners may also be worth the read.

Learn The Right Grip

The last essential component to playing tennis effectively and healthily is learning the proper grip. Generally, players will start with these four grips:

  1. Continental grip
  2. Eastern grip
  3. Western grip
  4. Semi-Western grip

Of course, you will also need to learn the various tennis shots, including groundstrokes, forehands, backhands, serves, volleys, and so on. Start small and work your way up to an expert level.

To Finish

Whether you are just starting tennis, have played tennis competition for many years, or want to get into the sport, it has endless health benefits. As we covered, playing tennis can build stamina, improve physical strength, and even improve your mental health.

There’s no reason not to start playing, so we recommend heading out to the court with a friend or meeting someone new once you arrive. Let’s all stay healthy.

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Editor of All Points Tennis and a huge Roger Federer fan, I've spent countless hours studying his moves, especially his forehand and one-handed backhand. I also love writing about all the technical stuff like rackets and strings. I'm super pumped to share my insights with fellow tennis lovers here.