Improve Your Tennis Game and Overall Health with Simple Steps
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It isn’t uncommon to read about the health benefits of running, cycling or swimming. But what to the experts say about other sports, such as tennis? Are there added health benefits to playing a game of tennis, compared to other sports?
According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, “those who choose to play tennis appear to have positive health benefits. Specifically, lower body fat percentages, more favorable lipid profiles and enhanced aerobic fitness contributed to an overall improved risk profile for cardiovascular morbidity.” The study goes on to cite tennis as a means of improving bone health, whether a tennis player has a lifetime of experience, or picks the sport up later in life.
Dive deeper into the physical and mental benefits of the sport with these tips on how to improve your game.
Health and Mental Benefits of Tennis
Men will burn approximately 600 calories while women burn about 400 in an hour on the tennis court. According to studies on caloric expenditures, competitive tennis burns more calories than aerobics, inline skating and cycling. (Note: Doubles, unlike singles tennis, is not much of an “aerobic” sport. In order to obtain the aerobic advantages of tennis, one should concentrate on singles or tennis specific drills.)
Tennis can also help you maintain a good sense of balance and coordination. A tennis player can expect to improve arm, leg strength and eye-hand coordination because he or she must be able to accurately judge the timing of the ball, hitting it, and serving it. Tennis also helps with speed, overall fitness, discipline, social skills, and even sportsmanship.
Why Play Tennis?
Tennis has historically been called the “sport for a lifetime.” Is it true? According to scientists from a variety of disciplines, tennis is one of the best sports anyone can choose to play. Here are four reasons why:
- People who participate in tennis three hours per week (at moderately vigorous intensity) cut their risk of death in half from any cause, according to physician Ralph Paffenbarger of Harvard University School of Public Health.
- Tennis players scored higher in vigor, optimism and self-esteem while scoring lower in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and tension than other athletes or non-athletes, according to Dr. Joan Finn and colleagues in a study done at Southern Connecticut State University.
- Since tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking, it may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and thus promote a lifetime of continuing development of the brain, reported scientists at the University of Illinois.
- Tennis outperforms golf, inline skating and most other sports in developing positive personality characteristics, according to Dr. Jim Gavin, author of The Exercise Habit.
3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Tennis Game
- Find a good instructor who can help teach you the basics.
- Learn to serve with a continental or Chopper grip. In other words, hold the grip as if it were an axe. This will help produce spin on the serve and make the motion more of a natural extension on the forearm and wrist. Practice your serve until you can place the ball in the corners of both service boxes. The serve is the most important shot in tennis and the least practiced behind the return of serve.
- Use the “three-ball rule.” Most points are lost within three shots, so be patient and make your opponent hit three shots before you go for an aggressive one. You will be surprised how many points you will win before you even have to hit that fourth shot.
Are you ready to hit the tennis court? Grab a friend and get your game on!
Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.